by simongalton on 2 March, 2017
In response to the news that Arriva is to withdraw the 56 bus serving Scraptoft and Thurnby, I have issued the following press statement:
Local Residents in Thurnby and Scraptoft have expressed surprise and shock at the decision by Arriva to withdraw the 56 bus to Thurnby and Scraptoft from 22nd April. The announcement comes after rumours that the bus company was considering changes but no one thought it would remove the service altogether.
Arriva Service 56 serves large areas of Thurnby and Scraptoft north of the A47 and is the only bus service to residential estates off Station Road. The route is a commercial service which currently receives no subsidy from Leicestershire County Council. The half hourly service provides a direct link to the City Centre along the A47 Uppingham Road and is well used by people working in Leicester as well as for hospital appointments and shopping etc. Arriva are proposing to re-route the 53 which currently serves Thurnby Lodge to take in part of Scraptoft but this will mean that Station Road is no longer on a bus route and the majority of residents living north of the A47 will be outside the 800 metre walking distance to access a bus service.
Simon Galton is the local County Councillor for Thurnby and Scraptoft. He said, “This is the second time a bus company has announced the withdrawal of a commercial bus service in the area I represent in the last four months. Last night I informed a meeting of Scraptoft Parish Council that Arriva have given notice of their intention with withdraw the 56. Residents at the meeting expressed shock and surprise that half the village is going to lose its only bus service. This is also going to affect significant parts of Thurnby that are not covered by the 747 service. The area is experiencing housing growth and developers and estate agents have made great play of the fact that it benefits from ‘good public transport links.’ Clearly this will no longer be the case. I don’t understand why the service is deemed no longer viable – the buses are always well used including during the off peak period. If Arriva has to make changes it could have reduced the frequency of buses rather than cut the service altogether.
“At the end of last year we fought a campaign to stop the 747 bus being withdrawn and I was pleased that the County Council agreed to provide emergency funding. However they made it clear this was one-off funding for only a year. The 747 is only really accessible to Thurnby residents living near the A47 but even so, unless a solution can be found to keep this going the whole of Thurnby and Bushby faces the prospect of having no public bus service after the end of 2017.
“I will be raising awareness of the decision to withdraw the 56 and supporting residents in their efforts to retain a bus service. Thurnby is only 4 miles from the City centre. It is a growing community that needs public transport.”
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