PUBLISHED: 05:46 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 31 May 2010
SUPPORTERS of the Reporter s Save the Post Bus Campaign were delighted this week to discover that a replacement service has been arranged. On Monday, just four days before the service was due to be axed altogether, Essex County Council came to the rescue
SUPPORTERS of the Reporter's Save the Post Bus Campaign were delighted this week to discover that a replacement service has been arranged.
On Monday, just four days before the service was due to be axed altogether, Essex County Council came to the rescue revealing that it would provide a replacement service, free of charge, from August 29.
Charm Hobbs, the council's transport liaison officer, wrote to Carol Wilkinson, clerk of Clavering Parish Council, to tell her the news.
She said: "Following the consultation process Essex County Council will fund a replacement service for the post bus using Essex County Council community link.
"This replacement service will commence on Tuesday August 29 until Friday October 27, while viable longer term solutions are investigated."
The replacement service will run on Tuesdays and Fridays and follow the same route and timetable used by the Post Bus, serving Langley, Clavering, Wicken Bonhunt, Littlebury and Newport.
It will cost nothing to use, regardless of whether or not users own a bus pass.
The news came as a relief to post bus users, as Royal Mail this week stated unequivocally it could not maintain the service.
Spokesman James Taylor, said: "The decision to withdraw the service was taken and communicated to the council in May.
"The decision was taken following considerable research and investigation and we have regrettably come to the conclusion that 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."
Regular users of the service were thrilled to hear that a replacement, named "Saffron Walden Shopper" by the county council, had been organised.
Newport resident Margaret Turner, 76, was very pleased to hear the news.
She said: "How wonderful, that's such good news. It's a lifeline for so many people. "I'm very pleased to hear that there will be a replacement for the service."
Eunice Whehwell, 86, who also lives in Newport, was also relieved to hear the replacement service had been arranged.
"That's lovely news and even if it's only going to run on Tuesdays and Fridays that's fine, as that's all we ever really wanted - Tuesdays for the market and Fridays for the shopping.
"I'd like to say thank you to the Reporter for all the work that's been done. Without you advertising the loss, we may never have had a replacement service.
"The response to the Reporter's campaign, which was launched two weeks ago, was fantastic and demonstrated how important the post bus service is to dozens of people in the area."
Essex County Council will now be informing people of the change to the service.
Mrs Hobbs said: "We are arranging for a handout to be distributed to passengers on the post bus this week.
"This will include a scheme membership slip to complete and hand to the driver when they use the new service.
"A supply of membership slips will be carried on the vehicle.