Hundreds sign petition to stop planned St Ives bus service changes

ABOUT 300 people have signed a petition to stop the planned withdrawal of some buses between St Ives and Huntingdon.

Changes to Stagecoach services A and B, due to take place next month, would see buses withdrawn from routes between the north of St Ives and Huntingdon. Passengers would have to catch two buses to make the journey, walk further to catch a bus or use a Whippet service.

The move has been met with anger among those living north of St Audrey Lane, including Pauline McPhee who said she had had to reduce her hours working at RAF Wyton because of the withdrawal.

Mrs McPhee, 67, of Blenheim Drive, who set up a petition against the cuts, said: “I happened to be at the bus stop with an elderly woman who asked me what she would have to do if she needed to go to hospital.

“She would have to walk to the bus stop by the Seven Wives or catch two buses, taking much more time, so I decided to do something about it. I can’t see why they want to make these changes when they’re encouraging more people to use the buses.”

She added: “I’m overwhelmed by the support. It shows how strong feeling is and that many people are against these changes. I don’t know whether it will convince Stagecoach to stop the changes but at least we’ve made a stand.”

Stagecoach managing director Andy Campbell said: “I accept that people travelling to Huntingdon from the Ramsey Road/Hill Rise area will lose out when the bus service changes on July 22. Depending on where they live, they can either walk to catch a service B or catch another bus and transfer.

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“If there were 200-300 people using the service from Hill Rise to Huntingdon then I could understand why they are so bothered, but it is not the case – that is nowhere near the number of people who use the service currently.”

He added: “There will be an increased service from the rest of St Ives to Huntingdon with more frequent and direct buses.”

The petition will stay in the shops for another week before Mrs McPhee sends it to Stagecoach.