Dundee City Council could have saved a “lifeline” bus service which councillors chose to scrap, its own accounts suggest.
But the council claims it in fact spent beyond its budget on transport last year.
However, this is only the case when costs outside of subsidies are considered.
The local authority had £37,000 left in its bus subsidy budget last year – more than the £20,000 it said it would need to keep service 204 going for the rest of the financial year.
Administration councillors and the lord provost voted to stick to the plans first agreed in February to scrap the 204.
Liberal Democrat West End representative Fraser Macpherson said: “An underspending of £37,000 would save the 204 bus, which shows how ridiculous the SNP axing the service is.”
West End Tory councillor Donald Hay added: “If there is funding to meet the cost of this service, I think the question should be why was it axed in the first place.”
Residents had fought a campaign to keep the route, claiming it was a “lifeline” for elderly people living alongside Magdalen Green.
The administration has offered locals a compromise by “allowing” them to redesign the route of the West End’s Blether Bus.
But residents have rejected the idea.
While funded by the council, the 204 is operated by Stagecoach.
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “This is a council-provided service and is a matter entirely for the council to comment on.”
A council spokesman added: “The council has a long and positive track record of stepping in to subsidise bus routes that we regard as socially important, but which are not considered economically viable by the bus operators.
“That commitment to ensuring that people can access public transport is on-going and in the current financial climate needs a variety of solutions, many of which might be new and innovative, like the free to use Blether Bus.
“During the last financial year Dundee City Council spent £420,000 supporting bus services in the city, £28,000 more than was budgeted for, and the fact that the money was found from savings in other services demonstrates our continuing desire to help people in the city to travel in the most convenient and sustainable way.
“In 2018/19, 97% of residents said they were satisfied with public transport services, up from 95% in 2015/16.”