13 April 2015
Today local bus campaigners from Fleet, Hampshire and the organisation Campaign for Better Transport take to the buses to highlight the impact recent local cuts to services have had on the people that need them most.
Stephanie Weller, who uses a wheelchair, and Sarah Horton, both from Fleet, are videoing a bus trip to Frimley Park Hospital to show the difficulties now faced by people who rely on buses to access the hospital.
A journey which used to take well under an hour can now take up to 4 hours due to services and routes in the area being cut since Hampshire County Council slashed almost £1.5 million from their bus budget.
Martin Abrams from Campaign for Better Transport is joining Sarah and Stephanie on this journey to help raise funds for a Bus Rescue Mission crowdfunding appeal which aims to help local campaigners save their threatened bus services.
Stephanie Weller said:
"I rely on wheelchair accessible buses to get to Frimley Park hospital regularly and since the council cut the bus funding my life has become much harder. Just getting to Fleet from my home in Pondtail is now an ordeal as the 77 bus was cut in January. I now have to get a pre booked taxi to Fleet, then the number 72 to Farnborough then if I'm lucky I make the number 2 bus to Frimley Park Hospital. This journey is now a complete nightmare, and it's really having an impact"
Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said:
"Experiences like Stephanie's are being repeated all over the country as people see their bus services being withdrawn in the face of budget cuts. Council leaders in Hampshire and elsewhere need to recognise the importance of buses to people, communities and the local economy. Our Bus Rescue Mission is about helping people like Sarah and Stephanie fight for better public transport in their area and so we urge people to lend their support to help us ensure that these problems don't keep happening."
If you would like to support the campaign or donate to the Bus Rescue Mission please visit https://buzzbnk.org/BusRescue
For further information, please contact Richard Watkins, Press Officer at Campaign for Better Transport on 07984 773 468 or Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner on Martin.Abrams@bettertransport.org.uk
Notes to editors
1. The journey will be live-tweeted by @SaveOurBuses using the hashtag #BusRescueMission and the video of the trip will be distributed to media and stakeholders.
2. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).