Over the last few weeks since First Potteries announced further changes to local bus services, many people have got in touch with Jack about the impact of these reductions. Last week, Jack met with Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director of First Midlands, to discuss these concerns. First have announced changes to some or all services across nearly every route in the area, though D&G Bus is looking to take over or provide new services in some areas.
At the meeting, Jack raised concerns about the impact of the withdrawal of services across Stoke-on-Trent South. These changes will particularly reduce services during weekends and evenings, which will leave many areas cut-off, with no bus services at these times. The ongoing dispute around locations for drop-off and pick-up in Longton Town centre, following First Bus withdrawing nearly all services from Longton Interchange, was also discussed. Jack requested that this be resolved as soon as possible to ensure there are suitable shelters for people catching services from Longton.
Jack said: “I am very concerned about the impact of these changes on communities in Stoke-on-Trent South. Bus services provide a critical lifeline for many people and some may now be completely cut-off at certain times of the day. It is also worrying that this is now becoming more of a trend and we have seen huge reductions in bus services across North Staffordshire over the last few years.
“It was good to meet with Nigel Eggleton from First, to raise all these concerns directly. I am now calling on First Bus and others to do everything possible to minimise the impacts of these changes. I want to see better local bus services and more needs to be done to create a sustainable bus network, rather than just continuing the reductions in services.”