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Major bus route changes met with mixed reaction

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 28, 2014

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MAJOR changes to a bus service in East Staffordshire will come into effect from today – despite some saying that the impact it will have on the public has not been thought through.

Staffordshire County Council confirmed to the Mail that Midland Classic will take over the service which runs hourly between Burton and Uttoxeter.

The route stops off at Draycott-in-the-Clay, Tutbury, Abbots Bromley, Newborough and Needwood but no longer stops off in Hanbury, much to the annoyance of people in the area.

Those who now need to use this route that live in the village will have to use the Forest Connect Service, run by East Staffs Mobility Link, which will see them call for ‘dial-a-ride’ transport to take them to a bus stop along the new-look route.

Bethan Waite, chairman of Newborough Parish Council, said: “This is the most utter and complete shambles I have ever seen. Staffordshire County Council has failed to consider the people this will affect.

“People who need to get to college or work are now in serious trouble.

“It really is a disgrace.”

Staffordshire County Council said that it consulted on proposed changes to the bus routes in the area last year.

Although the county council doesn’t offer bus services directly, it does work closely with bus companies and other partners to provide supported services which complement the commercially provided network.

More than 600 people responded to the consultation with the majority saying they wanted to see current services retained.

Simon Tagg, cabinet support member for transport and the connected county, said: “These changes are based on how well the services are currently being used and we have maintained the routes that local people use the most.

“When planning services that are sustainable for the future, we aim to ensure that communities have suitable links to at least one main centre with services.

“After announcing the initial changes, we have listened to feedback from people and made further improvements to ensure we are offering a consistent service that represents good value for money.”

Information on the new routes is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/busmaps

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