MP Hayes takes up case for bus routes under review
Ex-transport minister John Hayes has taken up the case of passengers unclear about the future of four bus services in South Holland.
Mr Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, has written to Stagecoach which is reviewing its operations in Norfolk, including the 505 Spalding to King’s Lynn service.
The 505 bus service is important to people in the south-eastern part of my constituency who might need to go to King’s Lynn for work or hospital appointments.
Other routes under review include the 49 (Sutton St James to Spalding), 49A (Sutton St James to Wisbech) and the 50 (Long Sutton to Wisbech) which are all linked to Stagecoach considering the option of closing its King’s Lynn depot.
Mr Hayes said: “It’s obviously a worry and so I’ve written to Stagecoach about these services, particularly the 505 which is important to people in the south-eastern part of my constituency who might need to go to King’s Lynn for work or hospital appointments.
“I’ve not had a formal notification that these services are going to be stopped but it’s understandable that people have concerns about the potentially changing nature of Stagecoach’s operations in relation to the possible closure of King’s Lynn depot.
“Therefore, I decided to write a parliamentary letter to Stagecoach to ask if the changing nature of the depot won’t mean a change to bus services themselves.
“But I understand that it isn’t necessarily the case that bus services will stop of the depot closes.”
Nevertheless, Stagecoach’s review has sparked enough concern around South Holland that parish, district and county councillors are preparing to fight for the bus services to be protected.
Fleet parish and district councillor Peter Coupland, also Lincolnshire County Council member for Holbeach Rural where most villages are served by the bus routes under review, said: “It’s mightily important to have a bus service between King’s Lynn and Spalding and South Holland District Council will be monitoring the situation.
“Hopefully, a service will prevail in the future, either provided by Stagecoach or perhaps some other company, and I’ll be at the forefront to ensure a service is maintained.”
Meanwhile, Holbeach district councillor Tracey Carter said: “The impact of this review could cause many of our residents potentially huge inconvenience, affecting those who the 505 service to get to work and also for social occasions, both of which are important.
“Anything I can do to help protect this service I’d very much do it.”
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “The consultation is ongoing and we are continuing to work with the trade union and local authority in Norfolk to protect as many jobs and as much of the local network as possible.