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Canvey councillors call on bus company First to safeguard the number 16 service
12:00pm Friday 15th March 2013 in News
PLANS to axe a vital bus service on Canvey have “outraged” local councillors who have called on a bus company to save it.
The number 16 route which takes passengers from Canvey, through Rayleigh and on to Southend, is underthreat because of a lack of funding.
Local councillors have now called on operator First to do all it can to retain the service, which is used by commuters and schoolchildren trying to get to Deanes school in Thundersley.
Jan Payne, Castle Point councillor for Canvey south, said: “I’m outraged by it, I can’t believe it. It’s only when you use it that you realise how vital it is.
“It’s a quick route that gets people off the island and to school, work and the train station on time.
“First must know how popular it is and find it viable to run, it must see the numbers that use it to warrant it staying on the road.”
The bus service could be axed from May because the Royal Bank of Scotland, who part fund the service, are instead part funding the Arriva number 9 route from Shoebury to Rayleigh, avoiding Canvey.
RBS helps to fund bus services to enable its workers to use public transport to its offices in Thanet Grange, Southend, which have faced major parking issues.
But Mrs Payne said the route was used by far more people than just bank employees and should be retained.
An RBS spokesman said: “We have recently negotiated a new contract with Arriva buses to provide free travel to staff working at our Thanet Grange centre.
“This new contract provides a longer route and makes bus travel available for longer periods of each day than previously.”
A First spokeswoman added: “RBS has chosen not to renew its contract with us to provide free travel for their staff to its site in Thanet Grange, Southend.
“Services 15 and 16 will continue to operate in their present form until early May when we expect to make some changes to these services. Details of these will be released at a later date.”
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