A SOUTH Derbyshire man has launched a campaign asking a bus company to reconsider discontinuing a vital route between Derby and Stoke.
Wardle Transport, a subsidiary of Arriva, are set to axe the X50 service, which runs through Scropton, Hatton, Hilton and Etwall, on April 27 with no plans to offer a replacement service. Dickie Allen from Watery Lane, Scropton is now spearheading a campaign to save the service and calling for others in the area to make their feelings known in the hope that the company will overturn their decision.
He argues that discontinuing the route will have a severe impact on people from all backgrounds living in the villages between Uttoxeter and Derby and has set up a petition which he intends to present to Arriva. He will be travelling on the route throughout the coming routes to try and encourage support.
Mr Allen told the Mail: “The service is vital to people living in Scropton and other villages in the area. Pensioners and other residents that don’t drive will be left with no alternative public transport links.
“Also, prisoners at Sudbury open prison will be unable to complete their work placements as they will be unable to get to where they need to be, while children will be unable to get to school.
“I’ve written to our MP Heather Wheeler and she has in turn written to Wardle Transport and is awaiting a response from them.
“I’ve also had a lady from Stoke contact me, who is registered blind, and she has to get to Nottingham for treatment. Without the X50 the journey will take her all day.”
Keith Myatt, regional spokesman for Arriva Midlands said the decision to discontinue the X50 was made following a continued decline in the number of people using the service.
He said: “The patronage using the service was very small and it was not sustainable to keep it running. We consulted the local authorities in both Staffordshire and Derbyshire and there was no solution found.
“From April 28 we will be running a trial service from Uttoxeter to Hanley at 7.10am, then a service from Hanley to Uttoxeter at 5.15pm. There are no plans to replace the X50 with another service running east from Uttoxeter towards Derby.”