After the shortsightedness shown by the county council (see below) it was a pleasure to talk to Mrs Barbara Carpenter of Roman Way who, rather than complaining about the lack of buses, is doing something about it. She has recently started a petition calling for more buses in Andover, especially on Sundays. The petition has widespread support particularly among older residents who rely on public transport and who are unable to get any where on Sundays unless walking or paying for expensive taxis.
This lack of buses was highlighted on Remembrance Sunday when many residents who would have liked to get to the Remembrance Service in town were unable to do so. It is also a problem in the evenings where in many areas buses stop at 6:00pm or earlier.
I have discussed this with bus operators and the willingness to extend services is there if the local council supports them. I will be asking what we can do to support and improve services. Unfortunately some councillors see this as a waste of time and some have blamed the government for lack of subsidy, claiming all the money has been spent on free bus passes. None of this is true and even if it were this is no excuse for not trying to improve the existing services.
Free bus passes are no use when there aren’t any buses to use them on. Our shops are open on Sundays why not run bus services so residents can use these shops. Not everyone has access to a car, not everyone wants to use their car. We should be encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives, what better than a public bus service. Our Victorian ancestors were proud to promote public services we should do the same.
If you would like to help Barbara’s campaign please let me know and I will pass your details on.