Local public transport campaigners have called on Essex County Council to see the potential loss of the 505 bus service from Chingford to Harlow as an opportunity for an improved service.
Trusty Bus, who took over the 505 route with a greatly reduced serviced in May 2015, are believed to be pulling out of the service at the end of the year.
Dave Plummer, from Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG), started a petition to restore the 505 service to previous levels when they were reduced last year. He said,
‘It’s not surprising that the service is underused – there are only six buses per day and the service is perceived to be unreliable and expensive. Essex County Council have a great opportunity here to help support a renewed, more regular service, demonstrating their commitment to reducing air pollution and improving road passenger transport.’
‘The 505 is essential for Harlow College students and people using Princess Alexandra Hospital. If it’s lost more people will be forced into their cars, increasing congestion and pressure on parking. It’s particularly important that public transport links to Harlow are improved in light of the Harlow and Epping Forest Local Plans, which anticipate increased employment and business opportunities and thousands of new homes across the districts.’
Notes for editors:
- Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG) formed in July 2016 to campaign for better transport and safer streets in Epping Forest
- Essex County Council’s Cabinet are currently considering a request to subsidise a replacement for the 505 service with a different operator and increased services
- The Save the 505 petition, started in May 2015, raised over 600 signatures: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/savethe505
- The letter to Essex County Council’s cabinet and actions for campaigners are on the EFTAG website: http://eftag.org.uk/save-the-505