Bus cuts are hitting ‘forgotten’ residents

Bus services. ANL-150104-170500001
Bus services. ANL-150104-170500001

A leading campaigner in the battle to oppose further cuts to bus services in the Horncastle area has vowed 
to step up his fight.

Dick Fowler, who lives in Tetford, says elderly and vulnerable people in rural communities are finding it increasingly difficult to cope because of reductions in services.

However, he stressed the problem is not just confined to villages with recent changes to town centre routes also causing problems.

And Mr Fowler revealed that members of a national campaign group calling for improved bus services are set to visit the Horncastle and Louth area next month.

Mr Fowler says the visit will coincide with further changes to services in the area.

He is particularly concerned about the 6C service between Horncastle and Louth, the Horncastle to Coningsby 65 service - and the Horncastle town service.

He said: “A lot of people are struggling with the changes. Not everyone who lives in rural communities has access to a car and they rely on public transport. These people are being forgotten.

“I met a woman from Coningsby with five young children, one of whom has to regularly attend an eye clinic in Louth Hospital, and because of the changes she has no idea what to do.

“Furthermore, her mobility-impaired father in Horncastle uses the 65 service to get to and from town.

“As you know, the Horncastle-Coningsby 65 service and the Horncastle town services are, or have being, withdrawn.

“The 6C Horncastle-Tetford-Louth service is amalgamated with the 40/40A Louth Nipper town service and so both services are effectively halved with a four hour gap in the Nipper service and the 6C running in the middle of the day which makes no sense from the bus users point of view.

“We have all made the point that what is offered has no real contingency for medical appointments or connections. There are bookable minibuses (Call Connect) but they are already very busy and there is a lot of confusion among elderly people about how to use that service.”

Earlier this year, the County Council performed a U-turn on proposals to slash services as part of cost cutting measures. Mr Fowler believes more cuts will be made in 18 months’ time when funding arrangements will change.