Loss of business worry over bus route change

By Jamie White

Saturday, February 20, 2010

 

SEAVIEW business owners have expressed concerns they are losing out on much-needed trade, because of changes to a bus route by Southern Vectis.

In a letter to Mike Parsley, clerk to Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council, Southern Vectis operations manager, Marc Morgan-Huws, reiterated Route 8 buses would not alternate between two routes that groups of residents wanted.

Residents want Southern Vectis to run alternate buses through Pondwell and along the Duver, so people get access to a service, and the re-introduction of an early-morning commuter bus to connect with the FastCat. The buses used to travel from Puckpool to the Duver and into the centre of Seaview.

But now, instead of going via the Duver, the route goes from Thornton Cross to Bullen Cross and on to Pondwell and Nettlestone and just the outskirts of Seaview, before heading to St Helens.

Mr Morgan-Huws said: "I have already indicated we do not consider an alternating route to be commercially sound.

"As I have explained a number of times, bus operators are not directly funded to operate socially desirable routes that are not commercial.

"Our income to pay all of our costs comes from the fares received and we are not in a position to subsidise non-commercial journeys."

Steve and Diane Nicholson, who run Seaview Post Office, are worried about the effect the change will have on the village.

Diane said: "It is very worrying we could be losing trade in the village.

"There are plans to put yellow lines as well now in Madeira Road, because of the buses, which will mean more workers’ cars in the car park, meaning fewer spaces for visitors."

Reporter: jamiew@iwcpmail.co.uk

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