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Martinstown Residents' Distress At Bus Service Cuts

X31 victim Rebecca Hilton

8:01am 30th December 2014

Martinstown bus users are up in arms over the temporary withdrawal of the X31 service through their village.

Its left some people unable to visit relatives in nursing homes in the village, and having the long walk uphill on a road without pavements to reach Dorchester.

Councillor Ros Kayes is a leading bus campaigner in the county. She says following a campaign by villagers to  retain the service , over the summer an agreement was reached to keep an early morning service linking students to colleges and schools but residents wishing to travel to Dorchester in the middle of the day are still having to make a trek to the A35.
 
The extra Christmas cuts are part of a reduced service which will see First cutting back on regular buses during the school holidays ,as a result of which Martinstown will lose virtually all of its service in what is essentially  a 2 week cut.

 
"While this is clearly operationally cheaper for them during the time that the schools services are not operating " said Andy Pennington of West Dorset's Bus Action Group -which is fighting to reinstate recently lost services , "it impacts on the lives of those in the village and especially those who are elderly or who are trying to visit family members in the Care Home at Winterbourne Steepleton.  This is just the wrong time of year to cut services and it's a group of the most vulnerable - elderly people without their own transport - that are suffering"

 " This is a very sad thing to have happened. it must seem like a slap in the face to not only villagers but people visiting relatives  in the care homes for whom there no other form of transport. I really hope that First think again about this service."

 

(pictured is Rebecca Hilton walking from Winterborne Abbas to visit her mother in a nursing home at Winterborne Steepleton, a journey she previously made by bus)
 

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