Waltham Abbey Town Council has published their opposition to the proposals to end the 250 and 251 evening bus services. Their objection, submitted to the Essex County Council consultation this sumer, cites many of our own arguments against closing the services.
EFTAG are still awaiting a meeting with Cllr Ray Gooding of Essex Country Council to discuss the services and hand in our petition, which now has over 600 signatures online: Save the 250 and 251.
This is the Town Council’s objection, taken from their Facebook page:
Waltham Abbey Town Council strongly objects to the removal of the evening schedule for the 250 and 251 bus services, see response to Essex County Council below:
- This proposal has the effect of Waltham Abbey nearly being cut off from its neighbouring towns after 7.30pm almost creating an enclave, with areas of the town being isolated. This has a number of detrimental effects on people’s health (including mental) and well-being, and has an adverse effect on social capital.
- There would be an adverse effect on employment, as there would be no available service for the evening economy, or people returning from work further afield.
- Waltham Abbey is identified in the Office of National Statistics as having areas of high deprivation. It is essential to these areas that bus services remain available to them during the evening as well at daytime. It reduces people’s options when looking for work, as well as those who already work during the evenings.
- Another adverse effect would be on the evening economy, fewer people coming into the town for the evening, particular adverse effect on restaurants and bars
- The loss of these services means that non-driving residents will be stuck in and around their own homes, and not be able to go further afield in the evenings. There also may be an adverse impact on people who use evening transport for health and educational purposes including hospital visits.
- As the bus service 505 has now been cut completely and the threat to curtail evening service via the 250 and 251, we believe that Waltham Abbey is being poorly served by public transport. At this rate there will be few bus services left.
- We are all encouraged to use public transport for a multitude of reasons, such as the Green lobby, economics, etc. Many residents cannot drive, or own a car, so they are dependent upon public transport, but a poor and decreasing service does not encourage public transport usage. It is a downward spiral.
- Unlike towns such as Waltham Cross, Debden, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping and Loughton, we do not have either a mainline or London Underground station. We are dependent for our public transport on the bus services, not only to get to destinations themselves, but also to access other modes of transport. These are slowly but surely being eroded to the detriment of our residents.