Get behind bus services before they’re lost
Sir, Sadly, 4th July will be the last day of independence for many people from Appleby, Orton and Tebay who have over the years been travelling to Kendal on the Wednesday bus from Appleby.
The operator’s decision to cease running this scenic, well-loved route reflects the disincentives for bus and coach firms to run scheduled services since Cumbria County Council in 2014 slashed all bus subsidies rather than — as was urged at the time — make selective cuts on the basis of cost-effectiveness.
This was made worse by a misconceived policy, regrettably subscribed to by all political groups, of offering the modest monies of the Government’s bus service operators’ grant only to “community transport solutions”, i.e. hard-to-find voluntary bus operations, while withholding it from commercial companies.
But we are where we are, and we write to urge the people of Eden — from younger to older — to get behind bus services they still have by using them as much as they can to keep them on the road, with the potential to expand the service if it is doing well.
Service buses are not just for people without their own transport. They provide a great alternative for car owners travelling for late morning/early afternoon personal business, leisure or shopping in Penrith or Appleby.
Making the journey by bus is sociable and free of parking anxiety; you’re contributing to your community, making the area more attractive to tourists and helping ensure the service will still be there whenever you need it. Take your seats! Yours etc,
ANDY CONNELL and RUTH BOWEN
(Appleby Transport Group)