Alterations to bus routes leave elderly stranded
24th April 2017
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Funding has been cut to almost all local councils in the last year, and in their haste to recoup the deficit, councils are withdrawing their support from some key elements of our country’s infrastructure. Though we are all aware of the shortages the NHS is facing, many are unaware how the cuts to local bus services will affect many of the most vulnerable and isolated members of our communities.
This is seen no clearer than in the North as Stagecoach Manchester cancels a section of the 378 bus service. This part of the route services Wilmslow, Groves Lane and Stockport and the removal of a regular bus service will leave many pensioners without a mode of transport. The cancellation of this service will force locals to walk further to the next local bus stop, which is not viable for many with mobility issues and who have in built facilities in their homes such as stairlifts for the elderly.
Stagecoach explains the service is no longer feasible due to falling passenger rates. The service previously enjoyed being part subsidised by Cheshire Council, which is currently ‘gathering information on the service and will issue a further statement shortly’.
In the North East, South Shields, a coastal town close to Newcastle upon Tyne is experiencing a bus service that has been equally under threat. Though the halving of the 12/12A service has been shelved, it is still under review and has not yet escaped becoming an hourly service as opposed to every half an hour. Though Stagecoach has warned it is operating under a somewhat threatening stance of “if you don’t use it, you will lose it” and this is applicable to all bus routes, not just the 12/12A.
Changes will still come into practice on June 4th for the local boroughs and with 10 other services under review, it is a concerning time for British busses.
Image Credit: self