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Your stories: bus cuts

Bus services are vital for everyone across the UK, particularly those in rural areas which are susceptible to cuts. Tell us why your local bus service is important and losing it will stop you living your life.

Caroline

"I use buses to get to meetings which aren't on the train line, so buses are important for my business.

We have had cuts to bus services on Old Hill (Falmouth) which means I can't get a regular bus from outside my door to the nearest towns. Now I have to trek over a muddy field to get to the nearest bus stop.

The cost of using the bus for family outings is really limiting and so we only use them after a long walk, to ride back home, as we are a family of five (and dog).

The buses are less frequent and more costly than going by train. The return fare to my nearest big town (Truro) for meetings is now £7.50, whereas by train it is £2.65. However, now that the railway line has been damaged at Looe and Dawlish by the recent storms, my ability to travel 'up-country' by train is limited. Even though we are trying to be as sustainable as possible, I think we will be forced to get a car now to get around.

As a rural economy, we cannot afford NOT to have good transport services.

There is a stark difference to being in a major city such as London where transport is cheaper and more frequent. Last time I came to London, outside of the rush hour I could travel from West London to Essex for £2.70, a distance of around 15 miles. Compare that to £2.70 on the bus from Falmouth to Penryn (1.5 miles) and you can see how rural people are dis-serviced. The tube services are every three minutes, but in Cornwall sometimes even the hourly bus doesn't turn up and children, pensioners and working people are left on the side of the road wondering whether the bus will be coming at all. When waiting in the dark, down a country lane, this really isn't fair." Caroline Robinson

John

John portrait"When I retired I gave up my car. I have grandchildren and a great granddaughter, and I felt I had a responsibility to cut down on fossil fuels. I thought I could manage by using buses instead, but this may not be true in the future.

I live in rural Cornwall, where buses have been badly cut; for instance, the bus from Helston to Camborne used to run hourly, now it's every two hours. This reduces its utility considerably. I fear that there will be further cuts and the buses I use may be cut completely.

If the local authority supported the buses more, they would be more widely used. As it is, there's a process of continued attrition leading to reduced utility of services, which in turn leads to reduced passenger numbers, until the local authority can say the buses are no longer needed.

The bus company seems to send its oldest buses to Cornwall. One tourist, having paid £17 for his family of four to travel around two miles, told me: "It wouldn't be so bad if the bus wasn't old, dirty, uncomfortable and smelly."

I'm disgusted that the council is reducing support for local buses while subsidising Newquay Airport by £3 million a year, around £14 per passenger. It says that the airport is of strategic importance because it brings visitors and their money to Cornwall, but a similar thing could be said of buses. A lot of tourists use our local buses: one route near me is always full of tourists on the top deck. But if buses continue to be cut - and continue to be old and dirty - tourists won't use them.

Elderly people in Ashton use the bus for going to the doctors and dentists, attending hospital appointments, shopping and visiting family and friends. Elderly people who no longer have a car really depend on bus services to maintain their independence. If villages are cut off, as is happening, elderly people will be more and more isolated.

The bus cuts are so bad that I am considering getting a car again, and I am sure that others are considering the same thing. This will result in increased carbon emissions and increased traffic on our badly-maintained rural roads.

By not funding infrastructure such as buses, the Government forces individuals to spend more, leading to increased GDP which they can then claim as a success.

I don't like to speak badly of local buses, but enough is enough. If we don't speak out, there will be no bus service at all." John Marshall

Delilah portrait

Delilah

"The buses where I live in Cornwall have been getting worse and worse each year, with more and more cuts to running times. It makes it so hard for young people without a car and older people too to get around, just getting from where I live (Ruan Minor/Mullion area) to Helston, the nearest town, is so difficult with the bus as it currently runs.

"The timetable seems to be more and more sparse and lacking every time a new one comes out! It's really not good enough. It makes it hard for young people like myself to find a job when we live in a rural area and cannot afford to run a car. It has certainly jeopardised many job opportunities for me. The lack of access to nearby towns means that I am often overlooked for jobs, despite the fact I have a good degree and numerous other qualifications. It is just not fair." Delilah Gardner

Jenna

Jenna portrait"I use buses to get to work and for leisure. It took me three hours to get from Perranporth to Porthleven when I was doing my old job. The journey was beautiful but painful! I recently went swimming after work in Pool and was surprised to find that the last direct bus to Penryn leaves at 18:17. Sunday and evening services are dismal and impact on your quality of living. I am currently living in Flushing and the service is very limited so I am considering moving back to Penryn. This is even worse for people who don't have a car. I think that public transport should be 100 times better so that it's a viable alternative to the car. When the next lot of cuts happen they will probably be even more painful." Jenna Lane

The comments on this page have been submitted by readers of this website. Campaign for Better Transport cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the comments, and does not necessarily share the views expressed.