DCSIMG

'Look again at decision to axe this bus service'

By Suzanne McTaggart pressure is being put on transport chiefs by a councillor to reinstate a service that ended, leaving pensioners on a Leeds estate without access to local services.

Coun Peter Harrand (Con, Alwoodley) said the cancellation of the 751 service last summer through the Lingfields estate in Alwoodley threatened the independence of elderly residents.

He said they can now no longer get to shops, doctors surgeries or post offices.

"Elderly people need all the help they can get to live independently in their homes for as long as possible and bus companies have an important role to play in this," he said.

"I have asked Metro to look again at the decision to withdraw the 751 and see what can be done to provide an alternative bus service."

Ceased

The service stopped running last August when operator Black Prince, which ran it, ceased business.

Another operator, First, expanded its network to cover some of the area served by Black Prince but the local replacement route does not travel via the Lingfields estate.

For many, using the new service involves crossing busy roads and a long walk, while they say the other bus on the estate provides access to town but not to vital local services.

Pensioner Ethel Gibson, 87, of Lingfield Road, now has to use a taxi to get to her local doctor's surgery, pharmacy or the post office. She said: "I'm very breathless. I can't walk a lot and when the weather's bad it's even worse. I used to get the 751 to the Merrion Centre to collect my pension and now I can't.

"It's been very awkward and it makes things very hard for people. We really miss the 751. We'd be very grateful if they could even put one on every hour."

A spokesman for First said: "First did not purchase Black Prince, but out of goodwill took over some of the services. However, not all the routes were viable – they didn't attract enough customers and weren't cost-effective."

He added that details of the residents' concerns have been passed to Metro.

suzanne.mctaggart@ypn.co.uk

 
 
 

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