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Langdon Hills residents demand their bus service back
6:00am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
MORE than 400 residents have signed a petition demanding a crucial bus service is reinstated.
The 25B service from Great Berry stopped at several back routes in Langdon Hills en route to Basildon town centre and Basildon Hospital, but was axed as part of a cost-cutting measure by First Buses in May.
Residents are not happy.
They feel stranded and say the replacement service, 15B, misses out on several key roads in the area.
The new service doesn’t go down Emmanuel Road, Berry Lane, Shelly Avenue or Pittfields, and a portion of High Road.
Sheila Leggett, who has collected the petition, said: “The bus company bosses sit there making these decisions in their ivory tower.
“The new service goes three times an hour, but I’ve seen it with just one person on. If the bus followed the old route, they’dget a lot more passengers.
“There are a lot of residents around here who aren’t very mobile and they relied on that service.”
Mrs Leggett claimsamanager at First has thrown his weight behind her campaign.
But she has been warned any timetable changes will take 90 days to come into effect. She campaigned in all the streets affected, as well as at Basildon bus station.
Mrs Leggett added: “Having so many signatures shows we have a good case. We just need First to listen to us.”
The replacement service, the 15A and the 15B, runs every half hour from Westley Road to Wickford or Runwell, between 7.09am and 6.13pm.
The original 25B left Westley Road and ShelleyAvenue, Great Berry, twice every hour from 7.03am until 5.50pm, as well as detouring down some lesserused roads in Langdon Hills.
Another resident, in her nineties, who did not want to be named, said: “The bus would stop right outside my door, but now there is nothing at all around here. First just don’t care, but it’ll get worse in the winter.
“I had a hip replacement earlier this year and it was costing me £6 just to get a cab to Laindon Health Centre.”
David Burton-Sampson, chairman of Landgon Hills Residents Association, said: “It’s pretty poor, bus services don’t go to some of the remote parts of the estate. Many residents are concerned the bus service coverage across the estate as a whole is poor.”
A First spokesman said: “We originally withdrew our 25B service after analysis showed the route was under used and therefore, no longer commercially viable to continue operating.
The majority of its route is still served by our other services.
“However, we value customer feedback and will always listen to suggestions when we review our networks.”
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