Councillor says Stagecoach changes are ‘no compromise’ for vulnerable residents
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 August 2018
A replacement minibus for vulnerable residents in an area of Exmouth which is being cut from a regular bus route is ‘no compromise’ according to a town councillor.
Stagecoach has revealed planned changes to its routes in Exmouth are set to go ahead including re-routing the 98 service through Withycombe Village Road rather than Moorfield Road.
Concerns were raised about vulnerable residents in that area who rely on the bus for transport.
Following a public consultation, the company has decided to put on an hourly minibus which will follow the traditional 98 route through Moorfield Road.
Speaking at a town council meeting, councillor Steve Gazzard said this is ‘no compromise’ and some residents in Withycombe have been left in tears over the situation.
He said: “I am, along with residents of Withycombe, concerned about the 98.
“What they are offering now is a mini bus – I don’t think this is a compromise.
“I just wish that someone from Stagecoach could come and meet residents like I have – I have had them in tears over this.
“Residents are happy to accept that if there is to be some changes they will forego the bus from 8.30am to 9am and 2.30pm to 3pm if Marpool Primary School is causing the problem – but I don’t think it is.
“The problem we have had with the minibus is we don’t know what kind of minibus it’s going to be.
“We don’t know if it’s going to be accessible for mothers and dads with pushchairs or wheelchair users.
“It’s really concerning that we go out of our way to help people and Stagecoach don’t appear to respond to concerns.”
Councillor Tim Dumper also expressed his disappointment at the removal of the bus stop near Exmouth Leisure Centre on the 157 service being retained.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach said: “The changes follow a period of consultation which has taken into account feedback from customers and various stakeholders. Stagecoach would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond.
“There will be revisions to Exmouth town services and a number of East Devon services, including the introduction of larger buses on some journeys and additional connections.”