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Written by Claire Wright   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 23:16

On Thursday 19th February Devon County Council agreed (alongside other severe and damaging budget cuts forced on it by the Government) to cut its support of local bus services by £1.7 million.

Town BusIn Ottery this threatens the existence of the well used and much loved 381 Ottery Town service. At the moment the Ottery Town bus runs six morning trips and three afternoon trips on six days a week – Monday to Saturday.

I know that the Town Bus is a lifeline for many older and less able people. It enables them to be independent; it allows them to do their shopping, to go to the Coleridge Medical Centre, and to Ottery Hospital, and to the library, and to other Ottery facilities.

The Town Bus provides a wonderful service. Most of the users know each other, and they are also known to the very caring driver Colin. The bus has a social dimension. Without it, some Ottery older people would not be able to get out as much.

The service provides a door to door service for many older people who live alongside the route. Many of them would struggle to walk a long distance to a bus stop.

Understandably the bus users are shocked and upset at the idea that they may no longer have the bus. I know some of them would have great difficulty in getting around because of Ottery`s many steep hills.

I am determined to do every-thing I can to save the Ottery Town Bus; to lose it would be absolutely devastating for many people. I have been in discussions with DCC officers in an attempt to keep the bus running, for perhaps two or three days a week. I have offered to fund this from my Locality Budget. I hope very much that the future of the Ottery Town bus service can be guaranteed in the near future – even if it runs for less days than it does now.

Claire Wright

Devon County Councillor

Ottery Rural - Independent