Sir – Like many others we face massive cuts to our buses. David Cameron promised not to cut bus passes for pensioners, but his government have instead cut the buses themselves to save money which if anything is a worse policy.
The wonderful turnout at Ceewood Hall in Witney – the hall was jampacked with over 150 people and standing room only – shows how local people feel. We’re not taking this lying down. This is on top of the many hundreds who signed the petition to the county a few months ago.
We will continue to spread the word about our buses, and to lobby councillors and the government to provide adequate support for these lifeline services. As Hugh Jaeger from Bus Users UK put it at the meeting, even if you don’t use the bus you can recognise their value in boosting the economy, improving people’s health and well-being, and cutting traffic.
Two of our councillors in Witney are Co-op councillors, and we are getting help from the expert team at the Co-op nationally and locally to set up a People’s Bus Campaign. This isn’t just about arguing with the Conservative government, though we will keep up the pressure. It is also looking for ways we can build a new community bus service to replace those lost to the cuts.
We are already talking to local bus providers, councils and national experts about how to do this. But may we appeal to any of your readers with expertise to get in touch if they can help? We are also looking to set up a West Oxfordshire Bus User Group and again anyone interested should get in touch.
Cllr Duncan Enright (District and town councillor, Witney East)
Cllr Andrew Coles (District councillor, Witney Central and local bus driver)
Cllr Laura Price (County and town councillor, Witney South and Central)
Trevor Licence (local bus driver)