Concerned bus-users flock to public meetings over Bearwood and Merley route cuts (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Concerned bus-users flock to public meetings over Bearwood and Merley route cuts
5:40am Monday 21st October 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of concerned residents turned out to oppose bus cuts over fears the changes could leave communities stranded.
The meetings were organised as a result of Yellow Buses re-routing service 4d and withdrawing 27, affecting people in Merley and Bearwood.
School students, hospital staff and patients, workers and elderly people will be most affected by the changes, with fears the move will isolate many elderly people.
Annette Brooke MP, who arrived on the bus to the Bearwood meeting, said: “We’ve had concerns from people about school, college, university, people getting to work as well as elderly people not having that lifeline, which is so important.
“I have been delighted with the turnout – we had to move rooms at Merley because there were too many people.
“We are looking at innovative solutions and there are lots of possibilities. There is a real responsibility for me to deliver on this.”
Cllr Vikki Slade, also PPC for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said: “People are so disappointed that Yellow Buses have not discussed this with them.
“The consequences of this will be far-reaching – especially with elderly people.
“We know there are 600-700 people who have signed the petition already and it will be presented to Poole council.
“It is disappointing that Yellow Buses couldn’t be here.”
Mum Suzanne Jeffries, 44, from Bearwood said: “My youngster gets the bus to school every day.
“I’ve no idea how we are going to manage.”
And Ozzie Landes, 81, added: “I don’t understand why the 27 has to go. If it goes it will take double the time to get to the hospital.”
Not enough people using the 4d and 27
Jenni Wilkinson, head of marketing at Yellow Buses, said in a statement: “In an ideal world Yellow Buses would like to run buses to every destination in the area and provide a service for everyone.
“Regretfully this is not realistic and ultimately a commercial service is based on demand.
“Both the 4d and 27 services were introduced on a commercial basis with no support from local authorities.
“We have done significant marketing to try and develop the services and encourage patronage.
“It is always deeply disappointing when we invest in commercial services and they do not get used sufficiently.
“Unfortunately, the sad fact is there are not enough people travelling on both the 4d and 27 to justify the cost of a commercial service.”
She said the area would continue to be served by other providers and remaining Yellow Buses routes and said the company “remains happy to meet with Mrs Brooke should that be something she wishes to take up”.
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