LETTER: Bus cut changes are a false economy

The County Councillors who recently decided to cut bus services in order to serve £2m from their expenditure surely had an onerous task and now must accept responsibility for their actions.

Friday, 15th August 2014, 9:52 am

I was tempted to write to you and make the emotional case focused on the impact on the lives of vulnerable people that this action will have.

I considered mentioning the old lady, who must be in her late 80’s who was in tears on the bus last Wednesday, saying to other passengers “Well this is the last week I’ll be able to get out”.

However I realise the Councillors concerned will have been aware of those issues, because they will of course had held a public consultation before taking such a damaging step, er, they did, didn’t they?

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It occurs to me that the knock on costs of this action may well be in excess of the amounts saved. Of the vulnerable groups affected I will focus on the elderly since that is the one I know best.

Take for example the 17 route which at the Sutton end covered the area from Eastfield Side to Sutton Town Centre taking in Skegby, Stoneyford Road and the Carsic Estate. Elderly people from all of those areas relied on that bus’ regular journeys to get into Sutton for shopping.

The logical outcome of the changes will be increased car or taxi traffic, with concomitant increases in accident rates, pollution and road costs. That is, it will where people can afford to travel in that way, but where they can’t?

Well the impact on council budgets is potentially much higher, so where an elderly person is no longer able to do their own shopping for example, then we are faced with an increased likelihood of their needing care, support in the home or hospitalisation. Hm but I suppose one of the benefits will be increased opportunities to fine motorists for parking offences.

Oh, but of course the council feel they have made appropriate arrangements, a mini bus is to run on the route five times a day apparently. I’d be interested to know the times and the route, using that bus regularly for some time I have seen no information about either.

From a different point of view I am puzzled as to how the council expects the coach load of people who regularly travel, sorry travelled, to Sutton on this route to fit into a mini bus? Of course I could go on, but there is little point since I think I have amply illustrated the disastrous potential of these very damaging changes.

Noel Proud


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