Fears for elderly and vulnerable over plans to scrap vital bus service to Daventry

Mum with health problems said she feels 'trapped' with news of cuts
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Campaigners have called on Daventry' s MP to stop cuts being made to a vital bus service.

They want to stop Stagecoach scrapping their hourly 200 bus service from Banbury to Daventry in April.

Woodford Halse mum Cindy Lingwood (pictured) suffers with anxiety, depression and chronic migraines.

Cindy with her 11-year-old daughter Nevaeh.Cindy with her 11-year-old daughter Nevaeh.
Cindy with her 11-year-old daughter Nevaeh.

She told this newspaper: "I struggle to find work as it is; cutting this bus service takes away my chances of getting work tenfold.

"How people people get to work and how will the vulnerable people get to the doctors or get shopping? Not everyone has access to online shopping."

Cindy also said not enough notice has been given about the cuts.

"It's disgusting," she added.

Campaigners want to keep the service.Campaigners want to keep the service.
Campaigners want to keep the service.

"They've left us with so little notice that we can't make enough fuss to change the decision. I felt isolated and alone during the Covid lockdown, but this is worse. Now I feel trapped."

Users of the service say it will cause hardship among many groups including elderly people and students.

Natalie Louise Laurie, who lives in Woodford Halse, said her daughter needs the service to continue with her education.

"How are we meant to get our sick children to the doctor's now with no surgery in the village? We will have to walk with a poorly child? We have no doctors in the village, so we are completely cut off and isolated now."

She said a lot of elderly people rely on the bus service.

"They need the bus service to go shopping," added Natalie.

"What about people who rely on the service for work and even Job Centre appointments?"

Stacy Brookfield, who also lives in Woodford Halse, said her son uses the service to get to college in Daventry.

"He has no other way of getting there," she said.

"It would end up costing around £80 a week in taxis. It's disgraceful they can just drop the one and only service here."

Other communities involved are Williamscot, Wardington, Chipping Warden, Byfield, Woodford Halse, Charwelton and Badby, all located on the A361.

They hope Stagecoach will rethink their decisipn and provide a reduced service.

In a public statement, Stagecoach Bus Oxfordshire said: “Due to low passenger numbers and rising costs we regret to inform our passengers that we will no longer be running service 200 between Banbury and Daventry from the above date with Saturday April 2 as the last date in service.

"For several years the 200 has been operating at a financial loss covering less than 85 percent of its costs during which time Stagecoach has absorbed the losses incurred.

"This has been as a result of low passengers numbers that have only worsened since the pandemic; falling to below 75 percent of pre-Covid levels.

"We have approached local authorities who are unable to provide the long-term financial support required and so our only option is to unfortunately withdraw this service.”

This newspaper has contacted the MP and Stagecoach about the issue.