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New bus route fails to allay residents' anger
5:18pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
A NEW bus service has launched in Crewe linking the town’s major employers, but some residents are still fuming about widespread cuts to public transport by Cheshire East Council (CEC).
D & G busses’ oneLink service began on Monday, January 7, operating from Bentley Motors to Crewe Business Park every 15 minutes between Monday to Saturday.
The route forms part of ongoing attempts by Cheshire East Council (CEC) to turn the town into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2030 under its All Change for Crewe initiative.
However, the service has been instigated against a backdrop of widespread cuts to bus route subsidies, which have caused many operators to withdraw services – including school routes.
Fiona Bratherton used to rely on the number 44 bus to get from Nantwich to work in Shavington.
She has started an ‘I Want My Bus Back’ Facebook page in protest of CEC’s withdrawal of subsidies on bus routes.
She said: “My only option for getting to work now is to go into Crewe – a mile and a half further than I need to – and then catch a second bus back to Shavington.
“This journey, despite being the earliest available, still gets me into work ten minutes late. It will take me an hour and 20 minutes, a full 55 minutes more than previously, and will cost me twice as much.”
She added: “I would have thought it would be clear to our councillors that any bus running pre-9am will, by its very nature, be serving those going to work, and that cancelling such services will have an enormous negative impact upon these people - people like myself, who do not have cars or alternative modes of transport, or who are on low incomes - the very people we should be encouraging to stay in gainful employment.”
Of the oneLink service, clr Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is more excellent news for Crewe and further proof that we are delivering in the town.
"It is just one of a number of initiatives to be introduced over the next few months designed to change the way people can get around Crewe.
“The long-term aim is to secure the financial sustainability of the service to support and enable long term growth and job creation through the All Change for Crewe programme."
Visit www.facebook.com/iwantmybusback to sign Fiona’s petition against bus cuts.
For more information on oneLink, visit www.allchangeforcrewe.co.uk/bus