When bus services are axed, it can isolate communities

“We are living in isolation” – Michelle Wilkes describes the impact of bus service cuts on her community

“The Monday-to-Saturday bus service which served my village has been axed. The nearest bus stop is now six miles away.

“I live in a large village, tucked in between the market towns of Ludlow and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, but our community is effectively cut off because of this cut.

“Before it was cut, I used the bus service for work purposes. Without the bus to our village, I have had to rely on the goodwill of neighbours so that I can to keep to my zero-hours contract, which is difficult, as everyone has different work patterns.

“Shropshire Council outsourced the service to a community transport scheme, so that residents in our village can still get access to ‘essential services’ like hospital appointments by car.

“But this service is not always available and is very expensive – three appointments I had in December were costed at £70 using the scheme. When I had an appointment for a cancer screening I tried to book a community car, but my local scheme had no availability.

“Eventually, a neighbouring transport scheme took the booking, but did not turn up, so I missed the appointment!

“Without the bus service, young people cannot travel independently and have no access to health clinics, dentists, leisure services, the library, after-school clubs, revision sessions or training opportunities.

“My children – both teenagers – cannot meet friends and have to stay in the village during school holidays. Elderly people also suffer; they are unable to access services and have no use for their bus pass. We are living in isolation.”

Have bus services been cut in your area? Tell us how the cuts have affected you in Tell us your story on the Save Our Local Services page.