Pensioners stranded after Maryport bus is axed
Last updated at 12:51, Friday, 27 September 2013
A group of Maryport pensioners claim they have been left stranded on their estate after their local bus service was cancelled.
The number 56 service, which served the area around Ellenborough Place, Irish Street, King Street, the Promenade and up the Sea Brows, has been cancelled by the county council because it is uneconomic.
Some older people, unable to negotiate the hilly climb to and from the town centre, have been left dependant on family and friends for lifts.
Maryport Town Council said it was concerned about the cancellation and members would be discussing it at its meeting on Monday.
Nellie Murphy, 93, of Ellenborough Place, said she was too frail to walk into town but had been taking the bus three or four times a week. She said: “I can’t even go to get my pension. My son is good to me. He takes me around but he is a busy man. I miss it a lot.”
Mary Winn, 67, of Gilmour Street, who has a pacemaker and recently broke her collarbone after a fall, said: “Now I walk but it is becoming increasingly difficult, so I stay at home a lot more. It is a terrible loss.”
Mrs Winn said one of her neighbours, who had a breathing problem, depended on the bus.
Ethel Simpson, 82, of Hutton Place, said: “I used the bus twice a week. I have a bad foot and it is very hard for me to walk into town. Even if you do walk into town walking back with the shopping is so hard.”
Jean Artherton, 64, of Ellenborough Place, used the bus to go up the Brows, one of the steepest hills in the town.
Norma Carter, of Strand Street, said the loss of the service was devastating for the former users.
But a county council spokesman said the 56 service was previously a subsidised service operated by travel firm Stagecoach.
He added: “We sought tenders from operators to run the morning journeys but they failed to meet the council’s funding criteria for subsidising bus services in terms of cost per passenger per journey.
“The best price submitted in the tendering process would still have increased the cost of each passenger journey by 350 per cent, compared with the previous contract. Therefore it became economically unviable to run the service.”
The spokesman said he could not reveal how much a 350 per cent increase would amount to because the information was commercially sensitive.
Maryport town councillor Angela Kendall said she was extremely concerned and the council needed to discuss what it could do.
First published at 12:47, Friday, 27 September 2013
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
What are the council going to do for those elderly people who are now stranded in their homes unable to get to the shops and services? They can't just wash their hands of them. Are they prepared to see them isolated and unable to meet friends? They need to provide a service for these people or are they seen as the undeserving poor? They can't always rely on family and friends to make up for the council's lack of action.
the latest thing to twine about I have bin on that bus and no one ever got on it
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