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Campaign for new Yateley to Fleet bus service

Yateley described as an "island completely cut off" as two more bus services are being axed

John Keane, Greg Easterbrook, Stuart Bailey, Andy Whitaker, Adrian Collett and Gerry Crisp at the bus stop in Reading Road

Councillors are lobbying for a new bus service in Yateley ahead of further cuts to transport links in the area.

Yateley Town Council is campaigning for a regular bus service to operate at peak hours, which would transport commuters to Fleet town centre and the railway station.

Earlier this year Stagecoach withdrew its 79 service – which passed through Fleet and Yateley – due to low passenger numbers and as of next February, its 100 service, which travels from Blackbushe to Camberley, will also be axed.

Councillor John Keane described Yateley as an "island completely cut off" from everywhere else and backed his colleagues’ fight for improved transport links.

Cllr Adrian Collett, county, district and town councillor for Yateley, said: “Outside Gosport, we are the only town in Hampshire without a mainline railway station.

“We have to go to Fleet to catch the train and with the car parking works currently being carried out at the station there is even more difficulty going by car to the station.

“Customers need something they can rely on, it needs a proper service to work.

“We will never get what we have on the London Underground with a service running every three minutes, but we need a service that would run at least every half an hour, if not every 15 to 20 minutes.”

The 79 route was a commercial bus service and ceased in April following passenger data that showed only one to four people used it in the morning and between one and two passengers in the afternoon.

The soon-to-be-terminated 100 bus is subsidised by Hampshire County Council. It runs twice a day, Monday to Friday, and provides a lifeline service to many, including Sue Smith, 65, who lives in Frogmore.

She has been reliant on local bus services to get out and about for the past 30 years and supports the campaign for a new service.

She said: “We are going to be left out on a limb when the 100 goes.

“There are a lot of old people here and they will not be able to get out.

“I would be happy just for a two or three [buses] a day service, just so that we can get to The Meadows to do our food shopping or Camberley town centre to go to the bank, doctors and opticians or if we can go to Fleet.”

Cllr Andy Whitaker, former mayor of Yateley, said the reason why the previous bus service was cut was because it was underused and more work needed to be done to encourage people onto public transport to make it viable.

Cllr Whitaker, chairman of the Yelabus – Yateley’s community transport charity – said: “Yelabus could plug the gaps.

“Once a month we run a shopping trip to Fleet and we could run that during the week if needed.”

The town council agreed to write to the county council for help with subsidising a new bus service in the area.

 

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