A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save an ‘integral’ bus route allowing scores of people in and around Uttoxeter to get to and from work.
The X50 service runs through Uttoxeter and its surrounding villages in the Derbyshire Dales, including Sudbury and Doveridge, and takes passengers to Derby and Stoke-on-Trent.
But Wardle Transport, a subsidiary of Arriva, is set to axe the route on April 27 and has no plans for a replacement service.
Dickie Allen, of Watery Lane, Scropton, is spearheading a campaign to save the service and calling for others to make their feelings known.
He hopes public pressure will see Wardle overturn its decision.
Mr Allen said axing the X50 will have a ‘severe impact’ on those living in the remote villages between Uttoxeter and Derby.
He said: “The service is vital to people living in Scropton and other villages in the area.
“Pensioners and other residents that don’t drive will be left with no alternative public transport links.
“Also, prisoners at HMP Sudbury will be unable to complete their work placements as they will be unable to get to where they need to be.
“I’ve written to our MP, Heather Wheeler, and she has in turn written to Wardle Transport and is awaiting a response from them.
“I’ve also had a lady from Stoke-on-Trent, who is registered blind, contact me, and she has to get to Nottingham for treatment.
“Without the X50 the journey will take her all day.”
Keith Myatt, regional spokesman for Arriva Midlands said the decision to discontinue the X50 was made due to a ‘continued decline’ in passengers.
He said: “The patronage using the service was very small and it was not sustainable to keep it running.
“We consulted the local authorities in both Staffordshire and Derbyshire and there was no solution found.
“From April 28, we’ll run a trial service from Uttoxeter to Hanley at 7.10am, then a service from Hanley to Uttoxeter at 5.15pm.
“There are no plans to replace the X50 with another service running east from Uttoxeter towards Derby.”
Mr Allen will continue to fight the proposal and has set up a petition to present to Arriva. He will be travelling on the route throughout the coming routes to try and encourage support.