Fu­ture of Post­bus hangs in bal­ance

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS -

A VI­TAL bus ser­vice de­scribed as a life­line to rural com­mu­ni­ties could be cut, users fear.

The Royal Mail says it is re­view­ing its Post­bus ser­vice in Kent, where 12 routes cur­rently op­er­ate.

Now Kent County Coun­cil, which sub­sidises the ser­vice, is call­ing for an ur­gent meet­ing with the com­pany be­cause it is so con­cerned.

Post­buses were in­tro­duced to com­bine jour­neys for postal col­lec­tions with help­ing vil­lagers in ar­eas which are not oth­er­wise served by pub­lic trans­port.

There are wide­spread con- cerns among users of the dozen schemes in the county that some routes may be cut be­cause they are un­der used.

The Post­bus routes in­clude one from Ash­ford to Pluck­ley via Bid­den­den and Egerton and an­other one to Crun­dale from Can­ter­bury.

KCC cabi­net mem­ber for trans­porta­tion, Cllr Keith Fer­rin, said he was alarmed by ru­mours the ser­vice might be cut. He said: “It cer­tainly has noth­ing to do with us with­draw­ing our sub­sidy, but driv­ers seem to be telling pas­sen­gers it is un­der threat.

“I have called for an ur­gent face to face meet­ing with Royal Mail be­cause this ser­vice is vi­tal for rural com­mu­ni­ties.”

A spokesman for Royal Mail ad­mit­ted that a re­view of the Post­bus ser­vice countywide was un­der way, but added that there were no cur­rent plans to scrap any of the Can­ter­bury routes.

Cllr Keith Fer­rin is call­ing for a meet­ing to dis­cuss the threat to the Post­bus

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