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'I feel isolated': Heartbreak as bus service cancelled

PUBLISHED: 11:35 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 November 2019

The bus service was stopped on October 31. With regular commuters claiming they were a

The bus service was stopped on October 31. With regular commuters claiming they were a "one big happy family". Picture: Contributed by Jennifer Ozinel

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A woman has expressed her heartbreak after a bus service was cancelled on the east coast.

Ms Ozinel said: Ms Ozinel said: "“We are now less than a month in without our bus, I have started to feel isolated.”

The 108 bus, which travelled from James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston through to Oulton and into Lowestoft's town centre was taken from the roads on October 31.

Despite pleas to the Suffolk County Council (SCC) from residents, the bus which carried dozens from various villages on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast was taken from the roads.

Jennifer Ozinel, who was reliant on the service, said less than a month after the route finished, she is feeling the affect of loneliness.

The 62-year-old from Lound, near Lowestoft, said: "There's been a bus service through Lound and Blundeston since around the 1920s in one form or another, but in fine Halloween fashion it has disappeared.

"The 108 has been a regular and reliable service and the passengers have always made it a social occasion.

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"We were one big happy family and long lasting friendships have been made.

"A lot of the passengers live alone and sometimes they are the only people you will see that day.

"We are now less than a month in without our bus and I have started to feel isolated."

The decision by SCC was challenged by a group of passengers, who held four meetings with representatives from the council to express their dismay and offered suggestions of alternate services.

However, they claim they were met with a "definite no".

Ms Ozinel said: "There is a community bus, but it is not flexible, as far as I'm aware it runs from Lound on a Tuesday and Wednesday to Lowestoft, but it has got to be pre-booked and you can't be spontaneous.

"It doesn't serve the same purpose as a local bus."

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman, said: "Suffolk Norse is unable to continue operating the service because fare income does not cover costs. The council is committed to finding alternative options and is in discussions with local councillors and community groups to see if an alternative solution which is financially viable can be found."

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