Post bus will be axed in cost-cutting plans
PUBLISHED: 12:44 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 31 May 2010
A PENSIONER who uses the Royal Mail post bus to visit her husband at a care home in Saffron Walden is devastated the company is axing the service. Joan Law, 71, of Clavering, has used the bus twice a week for the last eight years to see her husband Rober
A PENSIONER who uses the Royal Mail post bus to visit her husband at a care home in Saffron Walden is devastated the company is axing the service.
Joan Law, 71, of Clavering, has used the bus twice a week for the last eight years to see her husband Robert, 81, at the Stanley Wilson Lodge in Four Acres.
But she is upset the free service, which many elderly people rely on is to be dropped on August 25 to save money.
She said: "It's an absolutely vital service as it provides a real lifeline for a lot of old people who can no longer drive and don't have any family to take them into the town.
"I have made a lot of good friends over the years from using the bus, and we always enjoy catching up with the gossip and having a good chat.
"I will be absolutely devastated to lose those friendships, and we were all shocked when we saw the sign at the Post Office saying the bus would no longer be running."
Mrs Law said she will now have to use the expensive Uttlesford Community Travel bus service to visit her husband.
"The community travel is a good service, but it costs me £4.70 to get from Clavering to Saffron Walden, which is a lot of money," she said.
"You also have to book your seat in advance, whereas you could catch the post bus just by standing outside your house in the morning and waving when it came past.
"The bus was free for pensioners after April as the driver accepted the Essex Travelpass."
The post bus runs twice daily from Saffron Walden to Langley, Clavering, Newport, and Littlebury on a circular route at 11am and 2.30pm, with the postman stopping to empty post boxes along the way.
Littlebury's parish clerk Tracy Coston said she was upset that the service is to be scrapped.
"The parish council is very concerned about the cutting of the service as it will make it exceedingly difficult for older people to get into Saffron Walden," she said.
"It was very convenient being the only bus to stop in the village, rather than at the bus stop on the B1383 at Windmill Hill."
A Royal Mail spokesman said the post bus, which began operation in 1994, was being axed because not enough people made use of it and that it was a cost-cutting measure.
He said: "We have regrettably come to the conclusion the only way to help us continue to focus on our primary operation for customers - that of delivering and collecting the mail - is to cease the post bus operation."
"The increasing costs of providing the postbus are no longer sustainable, particularly following the onset of full competition on the postal market.