Loss of bus service means loss of our independence

EDITOR – I moved to Market Rasen from Osgodby many years ago in order not to be isolated once I could no longer afford to run a car. A number of my friends have done the same.

Upon hearing about the draconian cuts of the No3 bus service, one of my friends from Middle Rasen said “They have just taken my independence away”. needless to say, she is not wealthy, does not have a car, no family on the doorstep to take her to the doctor, dentist etc.

She is one of many in this situation. The bus service between Lincoln and Grimsby is a vital lifeline for a great many people who have neither the money to buy a car, insure it, tax it, buy the fuel - and therefore do rely on the bus.

Young people, middle aged people, older people, either needing to get to their place of work, to shop (there are precious few shops in the small villages, as you will probably be aware of), going to a hospital for check-ups, or visiting patients.

We are told that the fuel subsidy paid under the scheme of the Bus Service Operators Grant is to be cut by 20 per cent.

It is quite obvious that some reduction in services will be necessary. Yet - at present we have 13 buses in both directions, if we take into account a 20 per cent reduction, that would make it 10.4 buses per day each way.

The Stagecoach manager is quoted as reducing the frequency to two per day. Surely that seems to make NO sense.

I do not know what the Government requires the bus companies to provide in order to qualify for this grant. Knowing that it is not easy to receive a grant without giving an undertaking to supply a reasonable service to the public, I would hope that the bus operators have certain obligations to fulfil.

Recently a new bus shelter has been erected in Market Rasen, there are quite a few bus shelters along the route - I travel often to both Lincoln and Grimsby.

There are a great many bus stops where raised kerbs have been provided. There is the excellent Call Connect Service for both Market Rasen and Caistor.

A lot of money has been spent, and now it appears that the only thing missing is a good bus service. Surely that is the point of a bus route. A bus you can rely on to take you to the places you cannot possibly walk to. Standing at a stop with a raised kerb, or sitting in a bus shelter is actually not of great interest if there is no bus.

The manager of Stagecoach apparently also said that no amount of petitions will make any difference, the decision has been made.

The reduction in services in Grimsby is nothing like the cross country route (going by the article in the local press).

I have been told that the fuel consumption of a double-decker bus is almost double that of a single decker. If this is a fact, could some of the journeys be made with a single-decker in order to reduce costs?

Surely there must be somebody out there who is able to influence the decision Stagecoach appear to have made.

Mrs H Pennelegion,

Market Rasen