A bus service is stopped leaving a child minder having to walk nearly two miles

Louise Barry is calling for the Number 15 Stagecoach bus to operate during school run times as it us

Louise Barry is calling for the Number 15 Stagecoach bus to operate during school run times as it used to before publishing a recuced timetable.PHOTO: Louise Barry - Credit: Archant

A childminder has to walk nearly two miles to take children home from school after a bus service was stopped with just a few weeks notice.

A sign with a small line at the bottom was the only notice given to passengers to say the Number 15 circular route from Sainsbury’s to the hospital was being stopped, said Louise Barry.

“The bus is always busy, there’s a lot of pensioners that use it,” she said.

“We saw a poster about a different service on the bus and just happened to notice a small line at the bottom that said the Number 15 was being dropped at the end of June for a month.

“It is then coming back on a reduced timetable. The bus used to run from early morning to evening. When it comes back it will be 10am to 1pm so misses the school run times.

“I live in Wren Close in Ely and take children to Spring Meadows and St Mary’s schools in High Barns. The walk is 1.8 miles and takes 45 minutes.

“MP Lucy Frazer suggested using Cambs Connect but that is £4 for adults and £2 for a child. The Number 15 bus was £1.60 for an adult and £1.15 for a child. I can’t afford to take all of the children on to a Connect bus.”

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Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, councillor James Palmer, told Louise in an email that: “The bus route you mention was entirely funded by Section 106 money from the Sainsbury’s development on Lisle Lane.

“That funding has now finished and the district council is not in the financial position to fund the bus, nor is it the transport authority.

“I will be carrying out a full review of bus services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and am hopeful that the review will lead to a better bus service throughout the county.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We provided an agreed sum of money as part of the planning agreement, with which they decide how and when to run the service.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “Cambridgeshire County Council are the decision-makers for this service. Stagecoach provided the service using funding from them.”