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Campaign to keep Blackburn bus services
3:00pm Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
A CAMPAIGN to keep bus services through Audrey and Queens Park has been taken to the Blackburn with Darwen Council.
Ward representative Salim Sidat said he was furious at Transdev’s decision to axe the 17 and 18 routes this weekend because of lack of passengers leaving local pensioners and young families in the lurch.
Now he and local residents are urging the borough to save the services either by persuading Transdev to reconsider, encourage other firms to take over the services, or find a subsidy to keep the buses.
Coun Sidat, who represents Audley, said he had the full backing of local pensioners.
Rita Smith, aged 79, said: “I think it’s a disgrace. How are old and infirm people like me and my husband supposed to get down to the town to do our shopping or get to the doctors?”
Joyce Binns, aged 75, said: “This decision is appalling and wrong. There are a lot of elderly people use these buses. How are old and disabled people supposed to get into town without any buses?”
Coun Sidat said: “This is an absolute disgrace. The cancellation all boils down to money.
“Transdev claim no one uses the bus in the Audley Area but I know several ladies who use the bus service regularly to get in to town and the new health centre.
“The council is preparing to build a brand new bus station yet Transdev are cancelling bus service in certain areas. The company is adamant that they will not replace the bus service nor look at a different route.
“I am meeting the council leadership and other bus operators to see if they would consider a new bus service for the people of the Audley and Queens Park. I am asking them to look a subsidising the service in the hope we can keep the buses in the area after Monday.
“I wonder how can we encourage the new generation to use the bus when they are going to grow up without a service. With winter approaching I dread to think how the young generation will get to college and how the old will go into town”
Transdev marketing director Nigel Eggleton said: “The reason we have discontinued the service is that there are just not enough passengers using the buses. It is up to the local council if they want to find the money to keep it.”
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