Councillor vows to be ‘thorn in the side’

The 32 bus service meeting in Buckingham with Speaker John Bercow MP.'120403M-C331
The 32 bus service meeting in Buckingham with Speaker John Bercow MP.'120403M-C331

A PUBLIC meeting in Buckingham this week was so well attended there had to be a last-minute change of room.

More than 100 people turned up to the meeting of the Aylesbury Vale Transport Users Group at Buckingham Community Centre on Tuesday afternoon, to discuss the intended changes to the 32 and 32A bus routes.

The 32A bus in Buckinham with passengers and petition organizers Pauline Gardner and Roxanne Dagg.'120403M-B327

The 32A bus in Buckinham with passengers and petition organizers Pauline Gardner and Roxanne Dagg.'120403M-B327

Transport for Bucks was represented by passenger transport contract manager Andy Clarke.

Town councillor Robin Stuchbury said: “As you can see today, Buckingham and the surrounding villages are very vexed about the loss of their 32 and 32A bus services which are vital to the community. To alter this service is tantamount to social vandalism. ”

MP John Bercow said: “In my 15 years as MP for Buckingham, I cannot recall coming to a meeting at two o’clock in the afternoon that has been so staggeringly well attended.”

He said people were “discontented and horrified and frankly very angry”.

And he added: “Many of the people using the service are among the most vulnerable in the community. They depend upon a readily accessible service.”

Hedley Cadd said: “We need the bus service. It’s a must for people like myself who are not allowed to drive and more.

“It’s up to me as a county councillor to do as much as I can. If there needs to be a thorn in the side of the county council, here’s the thorn!”

Mr Clarke said he was working within the context of having 30 per cent of the funding for the current network taken away and the shortfall for the area was about £35,000 to £40,000.

Mr Bercow said: “If a particular policy meets with wholesale opposition, it is always possible to reverse it and make savings elsewhere.”

After a great deal of insistence by Mr Bercow, Mr Clarke agreed the policy should be reconsidered and Mr Hardy should attend another public meeting in a few weeks’ time.