Petition calls on council to keep Titchfield bus service – not parking

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A PETITION containing more than 150 names has been handed to a council calling on it to scrap parking spaces to keep a village’s bus service.

The petition was organised by Titchfield resident Paula Weaver, who was upset at the prospect of losing the bus service 4A, which is under threat of being rerouted away from the village should the council decide to retain parking along South Street.

Mrs Weaver, 81, said: ‘I’m Titchfield born and bred and proud of it. That bus has gone through the village ever since I have known it.

‘If they take that bus away it will kill the village off.’

First announced its intention to reroute the service last October, after its buses received £100,000 of damage in one year due to parked cars.

Titchfield resident Michael Gausden said: ‘No bus service will mean the elderly, the young and the vulnerable will be cut off. They’ll be stranded in their homes as no other forms of public transport are available.’

The county council thinks it has a solution, which would see the loss of three parking spaces along South Street but the creation of five 30-minute spaces along West Street.

As previously reported, the original meeting to seal the bus’s fate had to be postponed as too many people turned up, both for and against. Those for keeping the parking include businesses which fear losing the spaces outside shops may lead to a drop in custom.

County councillor Geoff Hockley said these businesses must be protected as they are ‘the lifeblood of the village’.

He said he had concerns about the enforcement of yellow lines and that he fears First will pull out regardless.

Cllr Hockley said: ‘There’s no common sense. We need the right sort of bus to service Titchfield, not the 60-seater First is proposing. We need a narrow bus that can drive through and then there would be no need for yellow lines.’

The decision will be made at a Community Action Team meeting at 7pm at St Peter’s Church, Titchfield on Tuesday, February 25.