'Small victory' scored in fight to bring buses back to heart of Long Lawford - The Rugby Observer

'Small victory' scored in fight to bring buses back to heart of Long Lawford

Rugby Editorial 20th Dec, 2019   0

THE FIGHT to reinstate a bus service through the heart of Long Lawford goes on, after campaigners scored a small victory.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has agreed to re-route its 209 service to include Long Lawford once a day on Wednesdays and Fridays.

But villagers want to bring buses back to parts of the village on the old 3A route, which was cancelled by operator Stagecoach last January due to falling passenger numbers.

Long Lawford resident and Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) spokesperson Pete McLaren says elderly and infirm people living along the old route have been ‘stranded’ because they are unable to walk the extra distance to the bus stops on the remaining 86 route.

He organised a 516-signature petition which has been rejected by WCC, having already been dismissed by Stagecoach last April as not being ‘a commercial proposition’.

He said: “The petition has not been considered by any council committee as should have been the case. When we finally got a reply, it was simply to say WCC could not do anything to help.

“We refuse to accept this, and have written back asking how the decision not to fund the Long Lawford service was made. We await a response.”

He said WCC’s decision to fund the re-routed service was a ‘minor victory’, adding: “It will stop in Chapel Street and Round Avenue, providing a service through the heart of the village, and giving those who need it an opportunity to go into Rugby.”

However, he said campaigners will continue to lobby councillors to re-route the 86 bus through the village centre.

A WCC spokesperson said: “WCC has reworked a service to provide increased provision to Long Lawford within budgetary limits, and in line with the criteria that it applies to all communities throughout Warwickshire for bus service provision.”

The rerouted 209 service will start on Wednesday (January 8), will be accessible for wheelchairs, and will accept concessionary bus passes.


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