‘It’s a wartime curfew’: Campaign group launches second petition in renewed fight against Hertfordshire bus service cuts

Stevenage protestor Terry Figg

Stevenage protestor Terry Figg - Credit: Archant


Campaigners trying to stop the axe falling on Hertfordshire’s buses have compared the proposed new time tables to a “wartime curfew” and launched another petition to save the service.

The Save Our Buses action group is campaigning against Herts County Council’s revised plans to try to save £1.5 million by cutting funding to services.

But bus users groups are up in arms about the changes which would see services stop after 7.30pm and on Sundays – unless they go to a hospital.

County Hall has launched a second consultation after changing its proposals – brought on by feedback among those concerned about cutting services from 6.30pm.

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Campaigner Terry Figg, who lives in Stevenage, said: “These cuts will severe people from employment opportunities, education, family and friend visits, sports, leisure and shopping activities and much more.

“Having buses that only run directly to hospitals on Sundays up until 7.30pm and on many routes only until 7.30pm for the rest of the week is a dismal attempt to soften the blow. But what about people who work or visit hospitals after 7.30pm?

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“What about people who don’t live on a bus route that goes directly to hospitals? How will they get to their appointments, visits or job?

“What about people who come back from work during the week after 7.30pm? It will be like a wartime curfew with people isolated and constrained to their homes.”

The Bus Users Group for Stevenage also held a public meeting to debate the issues after the second consultation was launched.

Speakers said it would affect people who worked evening shifts in the town as they would not be able to get in or out.

The county council has defended the proposed cuts saying they only affect two per cent of people and that money has to be saved from somewhere.

In total 760,000 services will be altered under the plans, down from 890,000 which would have initially been hit.

The consultation closes on April 10. To have your say call 0300 123 4046 to request a paper copy or visit www.hertsdirect.org/busconsult.

To sign the petition visit www.save-our-buses.org.uk/petition.

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