Stevenage group slams county bus cuts
A STEVENAGE group has criticised a council for cutting bus routes, after it was revealed that nearly 50 services have been stopped across the county so far this year.
Stevenage Bus Users Group is encouraging people to take a stand, after Herts County Council (HCC) cut the services as part of its bus strategy.
So far this year, 49 bus services have been withdrawn, 43 routes changed, 66 routes had frequencies reduced and 10 school routes have had, or will have, their county council funding removed.
Member of the users group Terry Figg said: “All this smacks of short-term thinking. How is this going to help reduce carbon emissions and combat congestion?
“All of that will be increased. The hundreds of schoolchildren facing difficulties getting to school as a result of cuts in bus services will impact all of us.
“We’re asking people to join us, and asking the council to take out these cuts, and put our services back in.”
One of those affected by the cuts is a man from Walkern, who does not wished not to be named. He faces paying �760 per year next term for his son to use the 890 service between Walkern and Buntingford to get to school, in the wake of the cuts.
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The users group is now urging people who are facing difficulties to get in touch, mentioning which service affects them in particular.
It is also asking people to get their MPs involved in signing a national early day motion, which calls for Parliament to ensure buses and public transport receive the funding and support to run efficiently.
Stuart Pile, HCC executive member for highways and transport said: “In the difficult economic climate it’s vital that we identify the best way to use our resources.
“The new strategy aims to give us the flexibility to make the best use of our money in the short term, while setting out a plan for how we will develop the bus network over the next 20 years.”
People in the area can either visit www.betterbuses.org.uk or contact The Comet by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org