Northamptonshire disabled mum-of-two says cutting her only village bus service would be a 'travesty'

A 44-year-old woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis has said that she does not know how she will cope if Northamptonshire County Council axes her one and only bus service.

Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 4:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 11:30 pm
Anne Ramsden and her children will struggle to get out and about if her only village bus route is stopped for good.
Anne Ramsden and her children will struggle to get out and about if her only village bus route is stopped for good.

As part of stringent cost-cutting measures to save Northamptonshire County Council £9.6m, the local authority has announced it will review all of it’s non-statutory services, including bus subsidies.

If the service is axed, Anne Ramsden of Ashton might have her one and only bus route cut, leaving her and her two teenagers disconnected.

The cuts to bus routes, which might affect Anne is the number 33/33A service that links Milton Keynes and Northampton, passing through a number of Northamptonshire villages.

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Anne's teenagers both attend The Radcliffe School in Wolverton, and many of their friends live in the neighbouring county of Buckinghamshire and often use the bus up to three times a week to get around.

She said: "For many years when I have been unable to drive the children, the number 33 bus has been a lifesaver when I have been pestered with the usual ‘can I go to so-and-so’s house?’ They also used the bus to get home from school. My daughter is in sixth form and for her it's quite essential.

"I really don’t know how I and several other disabled and elderly people will cope without being able to rely on this service in what is a fairly isolated rural area. Cutting this service would be a travesty.

"We are forgotten about. It's incredibly rural, we are two miles from the M1 but it feels like we are one million miles away from anywhere."

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Faced with an unprecedented increase in demand for council services, coupled with significant reductions in funding, tough decisions are needed in order to deliver a balanced budget.

“We have had no choice but to make the difficult decision to review funding of all non-statutory services. This includes removing all money paid to support a number of bus routes across Northamptonshire.

“The proposals for removing bus subsidies formed part of Phase One of our 2018/2019 budget proposals, the consultation on which closed on December 1."

A final decision on the proposal will be made at the February meeting of full council.