A group of villagers in Abbots Langley are calling on Herts County Council to save a bus service that is due to be axed this month.
They say that if the 318 bus service between Abbots Langley and Hemel Hempstead is withdrawn, there will be no buses at all for local journeys.
The campaign was started by Geraldine McVeigh and is being led by Reg Nice and Carole Buckingham who are running a petition for elderly and disabled residents who do not have access to the internet but would like to make their feelings on the matter known.
Reg is 86, suffers from arthritis and a serious heart condition. He said when he started talking to a lot of older people they didn’t know and they were the ones most likely to be affected.
He told AbbotsNews that he and Carole have collected about 250 paper signatures and 450 online. Reg said during a recent trip to Abbots, the pair collected about 50 signatures in less than half an hour.
He commented: “It seems unfair that older people are left high and dry. I have a strong sense of justice and felt I needed to speak up about this. We want the county council to urgently consider the whole matter with a view to allocating funds for the continuation service. They have a declared obligation to provide funding to support local bus service.”
Carole is a retired secretary who suffers from schizophrenia meaning she is unable to drive and depends on public transport.
She commented: “I do not want to cross the Hempstead Road by the Link roundabout to catch a bus to Hemel where I attend sessions at MIND, as the traffic is very heavy and dangerous. I have problems with traffic. The 318 route to Hemel is much nearer, practical and safer for me.
“The 318 bus is a vital link between the villages of Kings Langley and Abbots Langley and it enables especially the elderly and disabled to get to doctors and Hemel and Watford hospitals.”
Sara Bedford represents Abbots Langley at parish, district and county level and has launched a separate petition to save the 318.
She said: “This route is vital to many residents, especially the elderly, who have no other means of getting around. I have been pressing the county council to act since the beginning of December to save this part of the route to enable residents to go about their lives.”
To sign Cllr Beford’s petition, go to http://www.watfordlibdems.org/save_the_318_bus_service or in local shops.