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Councillor calls for rethink as Stanningfield stands together against halt to village bus service



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A Suffolk parish councillor has called on a bus company to find a way to help villagers who he feels have been ‘abandoned’ after it halted its service due to roadworks.

Chambers said it will not go into the village again until 21 weeks of drainage work by Suffolk County Council on the C685, which it uses to leave there, have finished.

The bus company has said passengers must now go to the next village, Cockfield, to get the bus instead.

Some of Stanningfield's residents who are unhappy their bus service will not come back into the village until the drainage work is finished. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Some of Stanningfield's residents who are unhappy their bus service will not come back into the village until the drainage work is finished. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Stanningfield councillor Clive Mears, said: “It is affecting people who do not have transport other than the bus and are now being told to cross a main A road if they want to get to Bury.

“As it gets into the winter months and with dark nights, for some here this is impossible.”

The bus company has been contacted by the council to ask if it can come into the village, turn around and go back out the road they came, but they have been told that will not work.

Cllr Mears said: “Nobody is question the flood work, it is desperately needed, but it is outrageous that everybody in Stanningfield who needs the bus has been abandoned.

“The halt to the service is disrupting lives and there just seems to have been a lack of thought about what people will do now.”

He hopes Chambers would look at coming to the village twice a day, so people have something.

Cllr Mears said: “I would like to think people have just not looked at this properly, understood what they are doing to people and would revise their thinking.

“If it was a couple of weeks we could bear it but it is 21 weeks long through the harshest part of the year weather-wise with no plan in place.”

The councillor said he has had great help with the issue from Suffolk county councillor, Karen Soons and West Suffolk councillor, Sara Mildmay-White.

Cllr Mildway-White said: "I think what is most disappointing is that there was no consultation from Chambers as they say they had been in talks with the county council on this for three months."

On the idea of having a service come to the village twice a day, as cllr Mears suggested, she said: "I would be very supportive of that, just moving a little way for those that need the service would help."

Jeremy Cooper, managing director for Chambers, said they hoped to resume a full service as soon as possible.

He said: “We very much regret that we are unable to serve Stanningfield as the through road is closed and there is nowhere for us to turn a double-deck bus around safely.

“It is disappointing that the drainage scheme was not costed to provide a shuttle minibus service to Cockfield for all passengers and not just school children.”

Suffolk County Council were approached for comment.

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