Sandy Town Council 'condemns' decision to scrap 72/73 buses as 14,000 residents left 'without a service'

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Sandy Town Council has condemned Stagecoach's decision to scrap the 72 and 73 bus routes - one that will leave its 14,000 residents "without a service".

The council says the announcement will be met with "anger and dismay" by its residents, and claims that the decision demonstrates "a complete lack of understanding" of the "vital role" the bus routes play to both the young and old living in towns, villages and hamlets.

It is now urging Central Bedfordshire Council to come to the rescue and arrange a replacement route, now that the commercial services have been axed.

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In a statement to the Biggleswade Chronicle, Sandy Town Council said: "The council condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision taken by Stagecoach East that bus routes 72 and 73 which link Bedford with Sandy, Potton and Biggleswade and currently support wider connectivity in northeast Bedfordshire are to be axed at the end of October.

Sandy Town Council offices. Right: A Stagecoach bus. Images: Google/Cllr Tracey Wye.Sandy Town Council offices. Right: A Stagecoach bus. Images: Google/Cllr Tracey Wye.
Sandy Town Council offices. Right: A Stagecoach bus. Images: Google/Cllr Tracey Wye.
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"It is inconceivable that Sandy will be left without a bus service and its residents, totalling around 14,000, will be deprived the option of using public transport to reach their places of work or education, as well as health, recreation, banking and retail facilities in other towns.

"The lack of a bus service will also restrict access to Sandy by those wishing to visit and use our retail and other facilities which will inevitably result in a further strain on their viability.

"In the meantime, and while it is to be welcomed that discussions are ongoing with other potential operators, which we naturally hope will reach a fruitful conclusion, it is to be regretted that Stagecoach East does not appear willing or able to continue the present services to ensure all those potentially disadvantaged by the axing of these routes have some certainty in the short to medium term.

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“We look to Central Bedfordshire Council Officers and Ward Members to vigorously pursue present discussions with a view to ensuring an entirely satisfactory outcome for Sandy's residents, and indeed those of neighbouring communities.

"Finally, Sandy Town Council will press our Member of Parliament, Richard Fuller MP, to intervene."

Stagecoach has been contacted for a comment.

To read its statement in our previous article, click here.