Bus users hand petition to MP

BUS users in an Essex town have shown their opposition to cuts to “vital” services by handing in two petitions to their MP.The number three route in Colchester, which goes from the university through Longridge, Parsons Hill and into the town, has been scrapped by bus operators Network Colchester, which has recently taken over the services from Arriva.

BUS users in an Essex town have shown their opposition to cuts to “vital” services by handing in two petitions to their MP.

The number three route in Colchester, which goes from the university through Longridge, Parsons Hill and into the town, has been scrapped by bus operators Network Colchester, which has recently taken over the services from Arriva.

But the bus company last night defended the move, saying the service in the area had not been well used by residents.

Nearly 500 signatories say they had little warning about the proposals, which came into effect yesterday. The petitions have been handed to the town's MP Bob Russell.


You may also want to watch:


Vanessa Shults , of Greenfinch End, Longridge, collected a petition with 270 signatures calling to reinstate the route.

She said: “I have a disability and am not able to drive. I found out less than two weeks ago and started collecting signatures last Wednesday. The map on the new bus timetable says the whole of Longridge doesn't even exist.

Most Read

“It's affecting hundreds of residents and I could have got a lot more signatures if I had more time.”

Sue Potter, 30, of Hazelton Road, gathered 216 signatures. She said: “I have a bad back so I cannot walk far and I don't drive.

“We have to walk to Harwich Road which is half a mile away. Many of us are elderly or disabled and we can't manage it.”

Adorph Prince, also of Hazelton Road, said: “I am 85 and my wife is 82. I have had four strokes and the uphill walk is really difficult. Even a couple of buses a week to do our shopping would be a huge help but now there is little we can do but struggle.”

Liberal Democrat MP Mr Russell said he will contact Network Colchester with the complaints.

He said: “Four or five different companies have bought and sold the bus routes since privatisation and as a result Colchester borough transport has been decimated.

“It's fair enough that the company want to make a profit but it would have been helpful if they had engaged in dialogue with the local community before making these changes.

“It is my understanding that the bus companies make a profit on some routes and transfer some of those profits to routes that make a loss, such as this one.”

Bill Hiron, bus director of Tellings Golden Miller , which owns Network Colchester, said: “This is part of a number of changes aimed at improving the bus service in the region.

“The reason the number three service has been cut is that most of the route is covered by other services, and the number of return journeys being made in the areas not covered was only about 50 per day.

“The best way to promote a bus service is by having simple to understand and regular bus services of every 10 or 15 minutes, so there was no possibility of diverting occasional buses.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter