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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Bus 'lifeline' to be axed
Residents in Leicestershire claim plans to withdraw a bus route would leave them cut off.

The Number 69 service which runs from Saddington through Oadby and on to Wigston only runs because of funding from the county council.

Leicestershire County Council said it planned to stop the route as part of a scheme to provide a greater number of people with access to public transport.

But users of the service, like 88-year-old Freda Rayner, from Wigston Magna, said it provided an essential service.

The proposed voluntary service offers a door to door service which makes it better for people with mobility problems
Tony Kirk, Leicestershire County Council

"This bus really is our lifeline.

"It gives one such independence, because it means not having to rely on people or taxi's for bringing the shopping back."

The MP for Harborough, Edward Garnier has criticised the plans, saying more should be done to help save essential bus services like the Number 69.

"If you cut off rural villages or make it difficult for people who live in Oadby and Wigston to travel about you are lowering the quality of life.

"There is absolutely no good reason why they should have a lesser quality of life than people living in city centres."

The county council's group manager for public transport, Tony Kirk, told the BBC: "We are looking at putting in services run by the voluntary services.

"Although we are taking something away we are putting something else in.

"The proposed voluntary service offers a door to door service which makes it better for people with mobility problems."

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