Save our bus service - plea

MP Toby Perkins talks to residents in Middlecroft about the bus route cuts at Edensor Court.

MP Toby Perkins talks to residents in Middlecroft about the bus route cuts at Edensor Court.

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ELDERLY residents left isolated when a vital bus service was cut have rallied together to try and get it reinstated.

More than fifty concerned pensioners have signed a petition after the 46 bus - that runs between Staveley, Bolsover, Chesterfield and the Royal hospital - was scrapped by Derbyshire County Council in March, leaving many unable to attend hospital appointments without forking out for taxis.

Audrey Bannister, 70, of Westwood Avenue, Middlecroft, said she now struggles to walk to the nearest bus stop, especially when carrying shopping.

“I used to go to Chesterfield and to Staveley centre, but I am in my 70’s and a lot of people around here are older. They just can’t do it.”

She also said she may be forced to stay indoors if icy weather returns this winter. At a meeting last week, the group presented the petition to Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins. He said: “To have the service taken away, means dozens of people either have to pay relatively huge sums of money to catch a taxi, or even worse, cannot afford to leave their homes.” A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “When the contract came to an end we decided to review the service. It was found that most of the old route could still be served while saving valuable funds at a time when budgets are being squeezed.

“The changes do mean a small number of stops have been lost, but these have been kept to a minimum and are only a short distance from the new routes.

“We’ve not had the petition but will consider it when it arrives.”

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ellie.hunter@derbyshiretimes.co.uk