Fury as essential bus service faces the axe

21 Dec 2022

A local bus service faces being axed in February. The 159 service between Hinckley and Coalville that also serves Newbold Verdon, Barlestone, Market Bosworth and many other local villages, is run by Roberts Coaches and receives a subsidy from Leicestershire County Counciil. The Coach company have announced they are ending the service after Conservatives Councillors withdrew funding.

Reacting to the news Lib Dem Councillor for Newbold Verdon and Stapleton Cllr Joyce Crooks said "The news that the County Council are withdrawing the Bus Subsidies is yet another devastating blow for the rural areas. Meaning that from February the service will cease.

This bus service is vital to those residents of our villages who use it to travel to work, College, school and Shopping, at a time when we are campaigning to cut carbon emissions. The consequences will be more cars on the road, job losses for those workers who do not have alternative transport and for villages like Stapleton will not have any public transport at all".

Lib Dem opposition leader on the County Council Michael Mullaney said "Leicestershire County Council is withdrawing its support for the service because it says it can't afford it. One of the main reasons for this is that Leicestershire is the worst funded county in the country by this Tory government meaning our towns and villages are losing essential services like this bus service.

"I hope the County Council will reconsider its decision to cut this funding and work with Roberts Coaches to keep this vital service going."

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”

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