Donington bus service cuts pile pressure on volunteer drivers

Bus service cuts having an impact.
Bus service cuts having an impact.
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Donington may have to give more cash to a voluntary car scheme because drivers are expected to be busier following cuts to Brylaine bus services.

The parish usually gives £750 but that looks like being upped by 33 per cent to £1,000.

At Thursday’s parish council meeting, Coun Jane King offered to meet the £250 shortfall from her district ward budget.

After the meeting, Coun King revealed a petition has been launched in a bid to reinstate some of the axed buses and says it’s harder now for residents to visiting doctors in Swineshead and Gosberton to go there by bus.

Coun King said: “I spoke to one of the doctors’ receptionists at Swineshead and she spent 10 minutes trying to find an appointment for a woman so she could coincide it with getting a bus in.”

The previous £750 bill has been met by a £375 contribution from the parish council with the three district councillors each chipping in £125.

South Holland Voluntary Car Service caters for residents who have doctors’ and hospital appointments, some of which can be to distant places like Sheffield.

But an expected surge in short runs could see fewer long distance trips.

Coun King said: “They may have to cut out some of these long haul journeys because they are getting more shorter ones. It’s a shame if that’s what is going to happen.”

She said the driver volunteers are doing the trips “out of the goodness of their hearts”.

Coun King said: “If it starts to become a full-time job, that’s when people start to think ‘I only came in to do this three times a week’.

“The volunteers that the voluntary car scheme have here are absolutely brilliant.”

South Holland Voluntary Car Scheme is only available in places were parishes contribute to running costs.

In January, Brylaine said it was getting too little subsidy from Lincolnshire County Council to maintain rural bus services while the council said it didn’t have the cash available.

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Bus company’s battle for support as services axed

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