Race against time to save village bus route

Backing the campaign: Stephanie Liquorish hands over the first 519 names on her petition to MP John Hayes and district councillors (back from left) Rodney Grocock, Andrew Woolf and Anthony Casson.
Backing the campaign: Stephanie Liquorish hands over the first 519 names on her petition to MP John Hayes and district councillors (back from left) Rodney Grocock, Andrew Woolf and Anthony Casson.
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CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a surge of support to save their village bus service, which is set to be cut next month.

Norfolk Green will stop most of its 505 Spalding to King’s Lynn buses from going into Moulton from April 9 as it faces up to a big drop in its subsidy from Lincolnshire County Council.

Stephanie Liquorish (63) started a petition to fight the cuts and has been joined in her battle by MP John Hayes, who lives in the village, and South Holland district councillors Anthony Casson, Andrew Woolf and Rodney Grocock, who all represent the ward.

Mrs Liquorish handed over more than 500 signatures to Mr Hayes on Saturday and is continuing to collect names at the doctor’s surgery, village store and hairdresser’s.

The changes would leave many villagers having to walk up to the A151 to catch the bus – with just a school service and mid-morning shopping bus still passing through the centre of Moulton.

Coun Casson said: “It would be a big blow if we were to lose it. It’s over a mile to the end of Bell Lane and people coming from Spalding will have a dangerous road to cross.

“Are people expected to carry their shopping all that way? It’s ridiculous.

“I think Mrs Liquorish has done a great job. We have got to continue to get the message out now. Unless people speak up soon they will lose it.”

The final petition is due to be presented to Norfolk Green by the end of the month.

Coun Casson says he hopes campaigners can agree a compromise with the bus firm and save at least some of the services that are currently on offer.

He says the proposed cuts effectively take ten services a day down to one or two and he hopes that a strong message from the village can secure two services in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Coun Casson added: “I can understand them cutting it down because their funding has been cut.

“It was nice to have ten services but it wasn’t going to last – we can’t stick out for something that we no isn’t going to last.”

Coun Casson believes that the fact that Lincolnshire County Council is currently carrying out roadworks to boost safety along the A151 is evidence that the road is a hazard, and will be dangerous for people trying to cross to walk down into Moulton.

Last week we revealed that Norfolk Green decided to axe most of its Moulton services as a result of its funding cuts and the rocketing price of fuel.

Managing director Ben Colson said that the county council had originally withdrawn its funding for Sunday services – but Norfolk Green took the decision to reduce its Moulton service instead because it said that affect 60 ‘passenger trips’ compared to 800 for the whole route on Sunday.