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Petition launched to bring back 'lifeline' bus service

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A campaign has been launched to bring back a bus service described by residents as a 'local lifeline'.

The number 32 bus, a half-hourly service which connected western Norton Canes to Cannock and Lichfield, was withdrawn without warning.

Residents only discovered the route had been axed when signs were put up at bus stops saying they were no longer in use.

The Bring Back Our Bus campaign has been launched by Amanda Milling, who is standing as the prospective Conservative MP for Cannock Chase in next year's general election

She said today: "Arriva's decision is outrageous and shows contempt for the residents of western Norton Canes.

"Whilst I accept they may have had difficulties running a dedicated route to western Norton Canes, it is unacceptable to cut service completely.

"We need Arriva to take another look at this issue and find a solution which doesn't leave people stranded."

A petition has been launched and already more than 100 names in favour of bringing the service back have been added to it.

Dawn Hudson's 20-year-old daughter Lucy, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, relied on the service.

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Mrs Hudson, who lives in Church Vale, Norton Canes, with Lucy, said: "Lucy has to travel into central Cannock most days so the number 32 bus really was a local lifeline.

"She now has to walk for over 20 minutes to Millennium Garden to catch a different bus.

"We only moved to Church Vale a few months back and one of the things we checked was that there was a bus stop nearby so Lucy could get around independently.

"Cutting off the number 32 without warning has been a real setback for her."

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Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley said at the time when the service was cut in July that the move had left residents feeling 'cut off'.

But Arriva said not enough people were using the service meaning it was not financially sustainable.

In February 2011, Arriva the bus company was forced to withdraw a decision to scrap the service after a campaign was launched to bring it back.

Miss Milling said she is hoping Arriva will re-introduce the half-hourly service, or at least have a less regular service to connect western Norton Canes to Cannock and Lichfield.

Bosses at Arriva were unavailable for comment.

To sign the petition go to www.bringbackourbus.co.uk

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