ANGER over the loss of bus services in Weymouth and Portland has prompted campaigners to start a protest petition.
Communities were devastated when they heard South West Coaches was axing some routes which are not financially viable.
They are commercially operated services not subsidised by Dorset County Council and include the 205 Portland Bill service via the Grove and Wakeham and the 207 through Downclose estate in Wyke Regis.
Other companies do not serve the routes so passengers, many of whom are senior citizens, will face a long walk to pick up connecting services.
South West Coaches has said the routes are not paying and it had to make a decision to keep the business afloat.
Service manager Lewis Trahar cited reductions in the amount companies get for the concessionary bus fare scheme and in the sums firms can claim back on diesel as reasons for a review of services.
Borough councillor for Wyke Regis Kate Wheller has launched a petition and is calling for a meeting with South West Coaches Buses and Dorset County Council to ask them to re-consider the decision to axe the two ‘vital’ bus routes.
She has been approached by people in the street with concerns since the Echo revealed the news earlier this month.
Elderly people have described the bus routes as a ‘lifeline’.
Coun Wheller said: “The 207 is the only bus to serve the large area of Wyke Regis south of the Buxton Road. Residents face a long uphill walk to Buxton Road or Portland Road to catch a bus. And the 205 is the only bus serving the Grove and Wakeham on Portland. YOI visitors and locals will have to book taxis or face a long walk to Easton for a bus.”
She said councillors were not consulted about the decision, which will take effect at the end of November. Coun Wheller highlighted the ‘duplication’ of buses on some routes and hopes the bus company and council will investigate solutions.
Petitions are available to sign in Wyke Regis at Wyke Working Men’s Club, Wellworthy’s Sports and Social Club, the Wyke Smugglers pub and the library. The petition can be accessed online at ipetition.com/petition/207 and205/