Councillor hits back at new reduced bus route plans

L-R Councillor Mike Humphrey, Jacqui Taylor manager at Hartford Marina and Wesley Clark general mana

L-R Councillor Mike Humphrey, Jacqui Taylor manager at Hartford Marina and Wesley Clark general manager at Hartford Mill. - Credit: Archant

The new bus route plans will see reduced services in Hartford and have been described as “absolutely dreadful”

A district councillor has said that proposed changes to a popular bus route could leave people "stuck" and unable to get to work.

Councillor Mike Humphrey, Liberal Democrat councillor for Huntingdon East, has said he is "disappointed" with the bus route B proposals, which will see a "massive" reduction in buses stopping at Hartford Marina.

At present, the bus route B between St Ives and Huntingdon stops at Hartford Marina every half an hour, however, new changes which will come into place on March 1, will see the bus only stop at the marina three times, twice in the morning and once in the evening.

The new route will continue to use stops between Houghton and Wyton that were added last year, but will mean a reduced service for the marina stop.

Cllr Humphrey has said he has been left "disappointed and concerned" after hearing about the new changes.

He said: "Whilst I understand that Stagecoach will have rescheduled their buses based on available information, I wonder whether they fully appreciate the impact on the local community, especially those who rely on a regular bus service to get to and from work at the Hartford Mill and Dobbies and berth holders at the marina. There are also the locals who opt to use the bus rather than their cars due to environmental concerns or simply to avoid drink driving.

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"Unfortunately this highlights the nationwide problem of local communities isolated by lack of public transport. Please have a rethink Stagecoach."

Resident, Audrey Taylor said: "If the bus stop at Hartford Marina is taken away, the nearest stop will be Owl Way in Hartford. This is quite a walk away from the marina, and for many of our elderly residents, it would be too far. Also, during the winter months, this walk way is not illuminated, so the walk from the bus stop to the marina would be totally in the dark late afternoon onwards, not a pleasant prospect for anyone, no matter their age.

"I can't imagine why losing this bus stop is under consideration. In the past four years the B bus service has dropped from every 15mins to every half hour. So to lose this service altogether would be absolutely dreadful."

A spokesman for stagecoach said: "The B will be stopping at Hartford Marina twice each morning Monday-Friday at 6:50am and 7:20am. We will stop there once in the evening at 19:19pm. Alternatively, Dews Coaches' 45A service also serves the marina."