Two Hinckley County Councillors have written to the Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council Nick Rushton and Roberts coaches calling for a threatened bus service to be saved.
The 159 bus which runs between Hinckley and Coalville and serves many local villages faces the axe on February 25th. This is following the County Council withdrawing the funding for the service.
Lib Dem County Councillors Stuart Bray and Michael Mullaney who represent Hinckley have called on the County Council and Roberts Coaches to reach an agreement to keep the service going.
In the letter they state:
"We are writing to both Leicestershire County Council and Roberts Coaches urging you to reach an agreement to keep the 159 Hinckley to Coalville bus service going.
The news that the bus service will end on February 25th following the County Council's decision to remove the subsidy from Roberts is devastating for many local people and villages.
As County Councillors for Hinckley representing stops on the route of the 159 bus we have been contacted by many residents within Hinckley and in other towns and villages calling for this bus service to continue.
This service is the only service that connects Hinckley and Coalville two of the largest towns in Leicestershire. It is the only direct service into Hinckley from many villages including Barlestone, Newbold Verdon and Market Bosworth. It is the only bus service that serves Stapleton and Cadeby.
We have been contacted by many people who would lose out if the 159 was scrapped. Below are just a few examples:
There are many other examples of people who use the 159 to get to work, education or for shopping, socialising and medical journeys.
There is an argument that the 159 should be stopped because of reduced numbers using the route. However, many bus services have seen dips in numbers post Covid19 but as the country begins to get back to "normal" surely we should give a service like the 159 more time to build back usage before axing it for good?
At a time when we are increasingly worried about climate change surely we should be keeping bus services like the 159 to give people an alternative to driving?
At a time of a cost of living crisis when people are struggling to afford to run cars surely we should be keeping bus services like the 159 as an alternative to people having to use cars?
At a time when local roads are increasingly congested, surely we should be keeping buses like the 159 to help reduce traffic on local roads?
We understand that Demand Response Transport is being raised as an alternative. Surely though this would not help the people who use the bus each day to get to work and college and who need a regular daily scheduled service?
There is a huge demand for saving the 159 bus service. A petition calling for it to be saved has already gained over a 1,000 signatures with more people signing it every day.
"We urge the County Council to work with Roberts Coaches to give the 159 another chance. Many people use this service and would be at a loss if it is scrapped. Even at this late stage we implore you to reach an agreement and keep the 159 serving the people of Leicestershire."
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”