MORE buses for rural areas and making sure they run on time were among the demands when discussions were held on the future of public transport in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Speaking at a meeting of the district council’s health and community overview and scrutiny panel last week, Jackie Bridgen, senior transport co-ordination at the county council, said that the current service contracts ended in August and a review was now being undertaken.
She said: “We are now consulting with many organisations and hope to have tenders out later this month.
“There has been a good response from the public and we would like to know of any concerns the council would like us to consider.”
Councillor Frank Hopley said: “There seems to be a reduction in services and some bus services are poor.
“Three schoolchildren in Dilhorne get a bus to school, but have to walk home from Blythe Bridge on a dangerous road.
“Who decides who gets a bus when young people can't get home?” Councillor Linda Malyon said that rural areas did not have much of a bus service, but what they had was very much appreciated.
She said: “We have to get people back on buses and make them more user friendly.
“You used to be able to get to the Potteries at night, but not any more.
“The Moorlands Connect service was agreed by Ipstones Parish Council, but it does not come into the villages of Foxt and Ipstones; it justs goes past Bottomhouse.
Can something be done about it?”
Councillor Josie Clowes of Kingsley, who represents the Churnet Ward, said: “We have an excellent link with the Potteries.
However there is not a very good link with Leek.” Endon and Brown Edge councillor Christina Jebb said people in her area had complained that buses were not running on time.
She said: “Over the last three months buses have not been going to Brown Edge School. Some are not running to time or do not appear.”
Councillor Jason Hails of Hollinsclough said that buses running through the village of Sheen had been given no thought.
He said: “There is no bus to Buxton, but there is one back.
“The Moorland Connect bus is doing school runs and is therefore not available during these times. Also, it will not take you to a railway station. Could this be looked at?”
Cheadle councillor Ron Locker said that young people had great difficulty getting back from Stoke-on-Trent at night and that rural areas had been left out of the transport links.
He said: “Cheadle's catchment population is about 30,000 people.
“Tean and Checkley used to have a good service, but now villages are suffering.
“There is virtually no transport in Dilhorne and students from the rural area have trouble getting to a train station to attend university.”
At a separate meeting of Forsbrook Parish Council, councillors stated they would not like the level of any of the present bus services that serve Blythe Bridge and Forsbrook to be reduced, and to agreed that the level of service beyond The Duke of Wellington into Forsbrook could be improved.
The county council’s transport co-ordinator assured councillors the county would look into the issues raised.