Friday, 29 January 2016

Save the Bus Services

Hay is in the interesting position of being a Border town. Right on the Border, in fact, which means that we are affected by decisions made in Herefordshire as well as in Powys for all sorts of things. One of those things is the 39 bus route from Hereford to Brecon.
County Councils all over the country are making savage cuts in all sorts of services, because of the government's austerity policies, and one of the services which is fairly easy for them to cut is the subsidy they give to the bus companies to run unprofitable routes. In Powys, Trecastle has lost the bus route altogether, and people have been walking to Sennybridge, along a narrow and quite dangerous lane, to get a bus to do their shopping.
Here in Hay, it took a major campaign, and a lot of committed and dedicated people, to keep half of the Sunday bus route - Hay to Hereford. It's a very useful service for people who want to catch trains on a Sunday, as well as to go walking in the area (groups of walkers go out on the bus fairly regularly). Use the Hay Ho bus!

And now there's a petition from 38 Degrees to ask Herefordshire councillors not to cut the bus subsidy for the county completely - which will hit the poorest in society hardest, and the old, who rely on buses the most.
Since 2010, the bus subsidy has been cut by 49% already. Thirteen services have been lost altogether, with reductions in service on 31 other routes. Buses are a lifeline. If there were no bus service through Hay, it would cost me around £50 to get to Hereford, or back from there when I've been away - I've done it occasionally, coming back from holidays when I've not been able to get to Hereford in time to catch the last bus, but it's not something I could make a habit of!

There's a link to the petition on the Hay Together Facebook page.

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