Bus Cuts Cost Commerce

Maryport Bus CutsCuts to the Maryport town bus service are already having an adverse effect on local traders.

Town centre business owners say afternoon business has been affected by the decision by Stagecoach to stop the 57 service running after 2.10pm on weekdays and 1.50pm on Saturdays.

The cut in services  follows the Cumbria County Council’s elimination of all its bus subsidies as a cost saving measures.

Cafe owner Annabell Winn said: “I’ve started closing on Wednesday afternoons because the town is so quiet.

“People depending on the town bus service have a maximum of four hours to complete their business. That doesn’t always leave time for a cup and a chat.”

Karen Thompson, of Top Drawer on Senhouse Street, said the town was deserted after the last bus at 2.10pm.

She added: “It is early days and hard to see if it will impact hard on business or if we will just be busier in the mornings.”

Michelle Hansen, manager of Heron Foods, said the shop was extremely quiet in the afternoons.

Publican George Kemp said regular customers from Ewanrigg either went home on the last bus at 2.10pm or did not go to the town centre at all.

Meanwhile, Hayley Bishop, from the county council’s Neighbourhood Forum, has been taking action to try to minimise the impact on elderly people and those who cannot afford other transport.

She and transport officer Caroline Watson have held meetings with pensioners’ and residents’ groups.

She said Maryport Health Services would be provided with bus timetables and asked to try to fit affected bus users into appointments to suit those timetables.

She said she would also be promoting the use of a community car. An appeal for more volunteer drivers would be made shortly.

Local Maryport News