EveningNews24

Laura Dawson is hitting out at First Bus reducing their service through Hales.
Laura with her daughter Ellie (2).    Picture: Nick Butcher

Petition launched after bus service cut

By RICHARD WOOD
Friday, January 25, 2013
2.00 PM

A mother-of-three is starting a petition to bring back a more regular bus service to a village after claiming timetable changes had left some stranded.

Laura Dawson, of School Lane, Hales, has written to First bus to complain after the Lowestoft to Norwich X2 service reduced the number of times it visited the village. She said the reduction in service was having a massive impact as buses now called at Green Lane every two hours with no Sunday bus.

Mrs Dawson, 35, said: “So many people rely on the bus. There are elderly people who are going to be stranded; we are completely stuck without it.” She said it was proving a problem for her as she had been taking her two-year-old daughter Ellie to Jenny’s Nursery in Chedgrave on the bus. “I’m not sure what to do. One is to walk to Loddon to get the bus from Loddon to Chedgrave, but that is about a mile-and-a-half and I have mobility problems. Or I can get one that is about 7.30am, but then we will be there for 7.40am and nursery isn’t until 9.15am.”

Mrs Dawson would then have the problem of having to get back to Hales before making the journey later in the day to pick her up. She added: “We will also have problems booking doctors’ appointments because we will be bound by the reduced bus service. Many of my elderly neighbours also rely on the buses for hospital appointments and getting shopping.”

Mrs Dawson said she has spoken to First and was told they would stop, when safe to do so, on the A146 for passengers. However, she said they couldn’t risk going for the bus if it might not stop.

A spokesman for First said that they had reviewed the route with Norfolk and Suffolk County Council.

They said: “The review highlighted a low usage of around 50 passengers per day using the service from Hales and the new timetable, we believe, matches the demand from Hales.

“With any service changes that we make, a post implementation review will take place and if additional journeys are needed these will be considered.

“We have, in addition to the changes in Hales, offered additional peak time journeys that are faster and more direct and we have already received positive feedback from other passengers using this service in other areas.”