Previous councillors fought hard to introduce a free yellow bus service to Chigwell.
The service which required an initial capital outlay of £120,000 was meant to run for a minimum of 10 years.
Only 2 years later the current Chigwell Parish Councillors are proposing to charge a fare for the bus service and have plans to terminate the service blaming poor usage of the bus.
Today in a discussion amongst members of the Chigwell Row Residents Association (CRRA), it has been discovered that many residents did not know about the free service. Moreover most members are not aware of any publicity for the service despite a target set in a Parish Council Management meeting in January.
CRRA call for a cancellation of the current plans to charge for the service, for a trial period of three months to be considered after the COVID-19 pandemic, for assessment of usage after we have had a chance to promote the Yellow Bus route. We also call for notification of any intended other use of the funds that would have maintained the bus for a period of 10 years, so that the community can be more aware of the reasons behind the removal of a useful service.
One local resident said:
"I was very pleased when the bus was set up as I have 2 children who attend West Hatch and it was difficult for them to get to school on public transport.
The only alternative way to the yellow bus is to get Redbridge buses into then out of Hainault/Barkingside. There is a distinct lack of transport provision by Essex.
The bus at school run times is over-subscribed now (since the new school year 7's now catch it). The problem with usage at other times, is that it's schedule is unclear, variable and unpublicised.
The trackers are useless and can't be relied upon. And now the buses stop earlier in the evening, at around 5, which misses out on the commuters who might have benefited from using it if it ran during rush hours.
Given that it was supposed to run for 10 years on the money already allocated, it is unacceptable to cancel it.
Chigwell Row is an isolated part of Chigwell and without better transport for members of it's community, it will be difficult for it's residents to do anything without using a car.
In today's environmental climate, that is not acceptable.
Better regular timetabling and better advertising/availability of the timetable would be a huge help.
Thank you for raising this issue, which is close to my heart. I do hope some awareness of it's part in the community is raised."
We petition Chigwell Parish Council to terminate any plans to alter the existing yellow bus route without a proper consultation with the community .
We call for an end to plans to charge for the service till CRRA has a chance to promote the service within our local community and ask for a trial period of 3 months to increase usage of the service.
we demand a fixed schedule for the service and availability of a timetable and a chance to alter the schedule to make the service more useful to local people working with Epping Forest Community Transport (EFCT).
We declare that we are unaware of any marketing done since the meeting held by the Parish Council management meeting in January.
The Stop changes to yellow bus service in Chigwell petition to Chigwell Parish Council was written by Wilson Chowdhry and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.