Protests over bus service axe
PROTESTERS fighting against the proposed axing of a Stansted bus service are stepping up their campaign to prevent it being scrapped. Cllr Alan Dean, Uttlesford District Council member for Stansted South, has been contacted by dozens of angry bus users wh
PROTESTERS fighting against the proposed axing of a Stansted bus service are stepping up their campaign to prevent it being scrapped.
Cllr Alan Dean, Uttlesford District Council member for Stansted South, has been contacted by dozens of angry bus users who are concerned about the loss of the 333 bus service that links Stansted with Bishop's Stortford, Harlow and Epping.
Christine Bullock of Spencer Close, Stansted, is a regular 333 user and feels very strongly that it should be maintained.
"I use it three times a week. My eyesight's not good enough for me to drive and I rely on it to get about," she said.
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"My friend has a hospital appointment in Epping next month and she doesn't know how she's going to get there now.
"It's at 11am so there is no way she will be able to make it on time without using the 333. She will be losing her independence.
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"We have to fight for the bus - if we don't this will happen more and more to our transport in the villages. This will affect a lot of people."
Cllr Dean said: "Once again local people are being dumped in favour of the airport. Excel prefers to compete against other bus companies for passengers from the airport than serve residents to get to the hospital and shops."
The district councillor has been in regular contact with Essex County Council (ECC) to request they subsidise a replacement service for the 333.
He said: "I have still not received any positive response from ECC. I am pessimistic because nobody at county will tell me anything of substance."
Cllr Rodney Bass, portfolio holder for transportation, explained that the county council is faced with commercial operators withdrawing services every month and that each case is assessed to see if the council can intervene.
He said: "Every time an operator withdraws a service we examine whether we can provide some form of replacement.
"I will be discussing this withdrawal with officers and Cllr Gooding during the next few days. It would help if, instead of bombarding me with emails, Cllr Dean got Uttlesford District Council in on the act.
"There is nothing to stop Uttlesford getting involved, although I doubt they will.
"The district council seem to criticise everyone but don't seem to do anything themselves - it's the same with the streetlights proposals, they criticise me all the time but fail to offer any valuable alternative suggestions.