Angry villagers fear bus cuts will mean isolation

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LOSING its daily bus service will completely cut off Swayfield, fear concerned villagers who are fighting plans to cut it.

People living in the village face losing the bus service entirely - that’s all five services a day on the Grantham to Stamford route.

The plan has caused the most concern to the village’s large elderly population, who fear their “foodline” will be lost as there is no shop in the small village.

They also worry trips to the doctors’ surgery in nearby Corby Glen will become much more difficult.

Dorothy Rutley and Doreen Tennant have launched a petition to keep their treasured service, operated by Kimes.

Mrs Rutley, 89, said: “The bus service means an awful lot to most of the people in the village.”

Concerned Derek Scotchmer, 76, said: “We will become more isolated. The buses are a foodline to the village.”

Charles Archer, 87, added: “If we had some buses two days a week that would be better than nothing.”

Meanwhile, Marilyn Morgan has blasted the county council for taking the decision without any consultation.

She added: “This decision appears to have been made without any due consideration for those residents of Swayfield who rely on the bus for access to essential services. It has left a lot of vulnerable people feeling angry and isolated.”

Those who have kicked up a fuss to Lincolnshire County Council, which subsidises bus travel, have been advised to use the CallConnect service.

However, villagers believe this is not an adequate alternative as the service, which operates on a booking system, is already under massive pressure with more than 17,000 calls made to it every month.

Head of transportation Chris Briggs said the bus service budget has been slashed by £1 million, therefore “cutbacks are sadly unavoidable”.

He added: “In the case of these Stamford routes, the number of people actually catching the bus regularly in Swayfield was very low, therefore in these difficult times we could no longer support the service travelling to this area.

“However, following a meeting with the parish council, we are looking at alternatives to provide further options on top of the two CallConnect services that cover Swayfield.”