Evening Bus Service Slashed…
Petition Fights Back!!!
- Torbay Council withdraws all bus subsidy funding
- Stagecoach announces major cuts to route 18 between Brixham and Kingswear in the evenings
- Online campaign and petition aims to revert the changes before the summer season
- Facebook & Twitter pages drive traffic to petition site
Residents in Brixham and Kingswear will no longer have an evening bus connection from 30th March 2015 due to the decision made by Stagecoach, without their own public consultation, to remove the evening trips on route 18. This is in response to Torbay Council’s removal of all bus funding, part of which subsidised the evening trips. Stagecoach would have been within their right to continue to run any evening trips on the route on a commercial basis, but it has taken the decision to cut them out all together.
The new time of the last bus during the week from Brixham to Kingwear will be at 19:35, and from Kingswear to Brixham at 20:00.
The route is popular, especially in the summer season, as it serves the busy Hill Head Caravan Park. It is also a vital link to Dartmouth via the Kingswear ferries. It is also unclear how suitable transport will be provided in the evenings during the Dartmouth Regatta and summer season, as the route has always been an essential link throughout the evenings during the summer.
The Save The 18! Campaign is concerned about the economic impact by effectively cutting off any public connection in the evening between the connected local economies of Brixham, Kingswear, and Dartmouth. There is no suitable alternative route from Dartmouth via Totnes, as this existing bus connection from also finishes before 8 o’clock in the evening.
Elliot Massey, leading the campaign, says:
I am really disappointed firstly at the lack of information Stagecoach has provided regarding these changes. I only confirmed hearsay from local residents by emailing Stagecoach myself. It wasn’t until the afternoon of 12th March that anything was officially announced. I find that insulting to keep people in the dark over such major changes to timetables, as there is a group of people who rely on the later buses to get back from work in Dartmouth. There is going to be a real backlash in response to this decision, especially come the summer season. I really fear for the economic damage that the removal of the evening service is going to have upon businesses such as Hill Head Caravan Club and the pubs and restaurants in Kingswear and Dartmouth.
He went on further to add
Torbay Council has saved money by axing this service, but it is sheer short-sightedness. With the summer season approaching, Torbay should be doing all it can to promote the area, and this decision is contributing to further demise by cutting off communities and holiday-makers from the beautiful amenities we are fortunate enough to live near.
Anyone opposed to Stagecoach’s decision is urged to sign the online petition by clicking here or follow the link from www.facebook.com/savethe18 and Twitter (@SaveThe_18). The petition will be presented to Stagecoach South West and Torbay Council following the date of the changes on 30th March 2015.
Elliot adds: “Sadly, it’s too late to stop the changes going ahead on 30th March, as the information has only just surfaced about the plans – but that doesn’t mean the decision can’t be overturned in time for the summer.”