Bus changes: ‘We hear the message’

Penny Coates from Steeple Claydon.'111220M-B025
Penny Coates from Steeple Claydon.'111220M-B025

A WOMAN who campaigned against proposed changes to the bus timetables wants to say thank you to Transport for Bucks (TfB) for listening.

Together with her friend Linda Carpenter from Charndon, Penny Coates from Steeple Claydon started a petition after TfB announced its proposal to change the timetables for routes 16 and 18.

The two women said the changes would put them and many others who live in rural villages out of a job, as they would no longer be able to get to work in Bicester and Buckingham.

Miss Coates works for Baker & Taylor in Bicester, and Mrs Carpenter is a rehabilitation assistant at Buckingham Hospital. Neither of them drives a car.

The pair gathered upwards of 400 signatures on a petition against the proposed changes, and about 60 people responded to the public consultation.

As a result, TfB has made changes to its proposals that will help workers.

There will now be one bus in the morning and one bus in the evening that will enable people to get to and from work in Bicester and Buckingham.

Tfb’s passenger transport contracts manager Andrew Clarke said: “We had a lot of response to the consultation. There was a good groundswell of support for the service.

“We hear the message that’s coming out locally and we made a number of changes to the initial proposal.”

The changes take effect form February 6.

The number 18 route is being taken over by Langston & Tasker on a six-month contract, after which the service will be reviewed.

Miss Coates said: “We’d like to say thank you to the council for listening to people’s point of view. We can both now continue to work.

“But we want to make people realise that, unless they use these services, we will be back in the same boat in six months’ time.

“We’ve lost people already on the buses because they were scared of losing their jobs. We need people to use the service, or we will lose it.”