Villagers' fury at bus firm no-show
ANGRY villagers who called a transport summit after bus bosses cut the bulk of services to their community have been told the firm “forgot” to attend the meeting.
ANGRY villagers who called a transport summit after bus bosses cut services to their community have been told the firm “forgot” to attend the meeting.
Hadleigh-based bus operator Beestons said it was axing 24 daily stops at Stanstead, near Sudbury, after two serious accidents on the village's narrow roads last year.
But disgruntled residents have said the move was “another nail in the coffin” for their isolated community.
Members of Stanstead Parish Council called on Beestons to meet them in the hope of reaching a compromise.
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Regular bus user Peter Speed, 59, warned the loss of the service would be a devastating blow, and voiced concern that nobody from the firm had attended a meeting with residents earlier this week.
He said: “The bus is a lifeline for many in the village. We sat around for an hour waiting for the Beestons representative, who didn't show. Around 40 concerned villagers now feel very angry about the apparent lack of concern shown by this bus company.
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“There seems to be little we can do other than pursuing the possibility of securing a subsidy for the village. This is just another nail in the coffin for the village and another way that we are cut off from the bigger villages and towns in our community.”
The company, which refused to comment on the meeting, said it had no choice but to look at re-routing some buses in the county after a series of accidents.
In one incident, passengers were showered with glass after a branch smashed a window and in another a car collided with a bus head on - but in both cases no one was hurt.
In an earlier statement Beestons operations manager Tom Munson argued the accidents had been a “big factor” in the decision to bring in the changes.
He said: “We apologise to residents of Stanstead for any inconvenience but the safety of our drivers and passengers, and other road users is more important than the few people in the village who use the service.”
The Beestons service to Stanstead is set to be discontinued on September 3.