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Anger over Leek to Cheadle bus service

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 03, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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Parish leaders are writing to Staffordshire County Council and a bus operator amid claims a town-to-town route is a "third world service".

At a meeting of Ipstones Parish Council, district and parish councillor Linda Malyon said she had received a series of complaints about the service which runs between Leek and Cheadle.

It travels through Bottomhouse and the villages of Ipstones, Foxt, Whiston and Kingsley Holt.

Problems identified include buses failing to turn up, or breaking down.

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Mrs Malyon said: "Some buses are not turning up.

"People are missing hospital and doctors' appointments. "This service is letting people down. The buses are breaking down and people are being forced to walk.

"This is a third world service.

"Passengers are now feeling vulnerable, as they can't get to appointments, and students are not getting to school on time.

"I suggest we write a strong letter to the county council and Arriva, the bus operator."

Councillor Heather Morris added : "If no-one does anything than nothing will be done."

Foxt parish councillor Howard Mycock said that people in his village were also unhappy with the service."

Cath Richards of Ipstones, who uses the service regularly, told the Post & Times: "People are frightened of using the service as you don't know if you are going to get back. The buses seem to breaking down all the time. This has caused at least two people to miss hospital appointments.

"Some people have had to call taxis while others have walked."

Mark Deaville, cabinet member for transport and connected county on Staffordshire County Council confirmed it was aware of problems.

He said: "We are aware of the issues encountered by customers on the service and have met with the company to find out exactly what the problems were.

"We have explained that the service is not satisfactory and will continue to work with them to make sure these problems do not happen again, and ensure that passengers get the high quality service they expect."

A spokesman for Wardle Transport, which is part of Arriva, said: "Wardle Transport is aware of several journeys either not operating, or delayed due to a vehicle failure, on Saturday, 28 June, 2014.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers and we will be taking steps to ensure that we provide a regular, reliable and robust service in the future that our customers expect and deserve."

In March Arriva apologised after it failed to run services for seven hours during one day.

A spokesman said at the time: "This was due to a combination of breakdowns and unforeseen circumstances.

"We wish to apologise for any inconvenience suffered by our passengers."

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