Long Lawford campaigners say government policy was ignored when bus service was axed

Campaigners in Long Lawford who are calling for changes to their bus service. Pete McLaren pictured centre.
Campaigners in Long Lawford who are calling for changes to their bus service. Pete McLaren pictured centre.

Campaigners in Long Lawford said they feel government policy was ignored when Stagecoach Midlands took the decision to remove a service.

The removal of the 3A from Long Lawford was part of a county-wide move in which Stagecoach Midlands cut and reduced services.

Speaking to Warwickshire County Council in July, Stagecoach Midlands chairman Phil Medlicott said he acknowledged the company’s decision to cut services was a commercial one, and accepted that the county council did not have the resources to fill all the gaps left by Stagecoach cuts.

Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)spokesperson and Long Lawford resident Pete McLaren is, together with other residents, calling on the company to reinstate the 3A service.

He said the decision to remove the service goes against the Bus Services Act of 2017.

“The Act calls for better bus networks serving more or different locations, and services that are more accessible for passengers with disabilities,” Mr McLaren said.

“How on earth is Stagecoach carrying out that aim by cutting the very bus - the 3A – which went through the older parts of Long Lawford where most of the elderly and infirm people in the village live? The reason that Stagecoach gave for cutting the 3A in Long Lawford was a commercial one - if a bus route doesn’t make a profit they will not continue to provide it.

“Stagecoach has claimed that too many passengers on the 3A had concessionary passes and did not therefore give them an income: but bus operators are reimbursed for carrying concessionary traffic on the principle that they are ‘no better and no worse off’ as a result.”

Mr McLaren said the county council ‘has a responsibility’ to subsidise less profitable bus services, but said cuts in government funding for councils will make that ‘virtually impossible’.

See bit.ly/2Uebelm to learn more about the campaign.

Stagecoach Midlands announces changes to bus ticket prices across Rugby borough

The news comes as Stagecoach Mildlands makes changes to its fares – with price changes to come into force on April 14.

In the Rugby area, fares will be increased by approximately 2.5 per cent.

Although one of the biggest sellers, the seven-day megarider will be increased by 20 pence – constituting a one per cent rise.

Stagecoach has extended the age that someone can buy a child or young person ticket from 15 to under 19 and the price is 25 per cent off the adult price.

There is no longer a time restriction applied to when singles, returns and day tickets can be purchased, removing the previous 9am restriction.

Visit bit.ly/2T0JFe6 to see all of the planned fare changes.