Thursday, December 8, 2022

Under-threat bus services are a “lifeline” for residents

A CONSULTATION into three under-threat Thurrock bus services has shown they are a “lifeline” for residents in remote areas of the borough.

A 12-week consultation was carried out from July on changes or withdrawal of the 11, 265 and 374 bus services, which the council has supported with an annual £452,000 subsidy.

The services cover areas such as east and west Tilbury, Stanford-le-hope, Socketts heath, West Horndon, Linford and Bulphan, providing links to Thurrock Hospital and a proposed integrated medical centre, Basildon Hospital and Basildon Station.

A report to Thurrock’s planning, transport, regeneration overview and scrutiny committee reveals there were 356 responses to the consultation. The report said: “In particular, respondents reiterated how these services act as a lifeline in particular for those who are elderly or disabled, provide access to healthcare, access to shopping, provide a social function, and would create social isolation for many, which may lead to other negative outcomes for communities, the council and other services. “Respondents also made note of the concerns of costs associated with alternative options to continue making the journeys by these services, and that in many cases taxis are available but unaffordable.”

One respondent said: “I am completing this on behalf of my parents. This is the main way they can travel to the hospital and Basildon town centre. due to walking problems, they cannot reach the bus stop for the 100 buses.
“Should this service be stopped, they would have no affordable way of getting to hospital appointments or shopping”

Another said: “I am 88 and do not drive. I do not have the money to pay for taxis to visit my wife who is in a care home in Chadwell St Mary. If you take away the 374 route, I will not be easily able to visit her, go shopping to Stanford, go to Basildon Hospital or Corringham. It would severely impact on my life.”
Councillors will discuss three options for the services. These are to withdraw the services saving the cash-strapped council £452,000 a year at current costs, to maintain the service with a projected cost of £720,000 due to inflationary pressures or to maintain one route for the most hard-hit communities at an estimated cost of £380,000.

The committee will discuss the consultation findings on Wednesday.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

More articles