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When is a bus not a bus?

146 Bus

​When it's a lifeline.

And that's exactly what buses are to a rural community. 

I live in a very small village that has 2 schools, a nursery, a local shop and not much else. No pub, no restaurants, in fact there aren't even any footpaths leading out of the village. This means people either drive or rely heavily on public services such as buses, so when the company that provides said bus service goes bust like it did last month in our borough; it leaves an isolated community. 

For those people who drive it means they lose their back up plan should their vehicles be unavailable for whatever reason. For those that do not drive though the impact is immense; in our specific case:

 
  • People have lost their jobs
  • Students have been unable to get to college and university
  • The elderly and most vulnerable in the community have been left stranded
  • People have been unable to get to doctors, dentists and other appointments
  • Kids who are now on school holidays have been stuck in tiny villages with no access to the outside world 
  • Support services are strained to breaking point 
  • Some are having to spend money they don't have on taxis while others are risking a dangerous walk to nearby towns and villages to be able to access basic services 

However this is also when we see communities come together to support one another to say no, we will not let you overlook and forget about us. We are going to take a stand and demand that you listen and ensure we are not forgotten. Yes it's 'just' a bus, but that bus is independence. It's freedom and it's a symbol to say we will not be ignored and dismissed. 

Tonight was a local meeting to discuss the current situation, our needs and next steps in the community and I was proud to take my children (as young as they may be!) and support. As although we are lucky enough to have our own transport, that does not mean we do not have an obligation to support our community when we can lend our voice to make the outrage at the current situation louder. Together we can show we will not lie down and be forgotten. 

The chair in full flow, the unofficial minute taker and someone completely uninterested in the politics!

The question is though; will our local council and representatives listen or will they simply make our basic services yet another victim of cost savings?  This still remains to be seen.....

This article was originally posted on https://tippytupps.com/​

Published by Vicki Coombe

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