Bus-users respond to campaign

PUBLISHED: 05:49 18 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:06 31 May 2010

MORE than 100 people have responded to a district councillor s campaign to save a Stansted bus service which is set to be scrapped. Cllr Alan Dean, Member for Stansted Mountfitchet at Uttlesford District Council (UDC), took action after discovering the 33

MORE than 100 people have responded to a district councillor's campaign to save a Stansted bus service which is set to be scrapped.

Cllr Alan Dean, Member for Stansted Mountfitchet at Uttlesford District Council (UDC), took action after discovering the 333 service connecting the village with Epping would be withdrawn on February 5.

He distributed 300 questionnaires and petitions to households in Stansted, where the service begins its journey.

Cllr Dean, who has so far received 60 responses representing 110 people, said: "All respondents want the 333 service to be maintained.

"Only two people said they currently do not use the 333 and of the remainder, 25 per cent are daily users, half use the bus at least once a week and the remaining quarter are occasional users."

The bus service has been described by Cllr Dean as a "three-hospital lifeline" as it gives travellers access to the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop's Stortford, the Princess Margaret Hospital in Epping and Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Despite this, the Excel, which runs the bus, has announced it will scrap all 27 of the daily buses that run from Maitland Road in Stansted to Epping.

Cllr Dean wrote to Essex County Council (ECC) asking if it would consider subsidising the service, but the council said it was unlikely.

However, Cllr Dean feels the council's reluctance to step in contradicts its transport policy.

He said: "Essex County Council's accessibility planning strategy highlights access to healthcare services from North Essex in the M11 corridor as being a key issue.

"This alone raises the priority of this bus service that passes three hospitals in the M11 corridor."

At a meeting last week, the South West Area Panel of UDC pledged its support for Cllr Dean's campaign and agreed to write to the council.

The questionnaires and petitions returned to Cllr Dean were sent to the county council on Monday and the council has promised to respond as soon as possible.

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