MEMBERS of a village community and users of the 4A bus are being urged to attend a meeting that will decide the service’s fate.
A row has been ongoing since First announced its intention to reroute the 4A service, after £100,000 of damage was caused by parked cars to buses as they went along the narrow South Street in Titchfield.
The bus company said that unless a solution could be found to remove parked cars, then the route would have to be cut.
Since then, the county council has been deliberating whether to lose the parking or the bus.
Traders in South Street believe that a loss of parking could mean a drop in custom, and bus users are upset about potentially losing vital transport links.
Now, a Community Action Team meeting is being held to decide the fate of the service, and the council leader is encouraging all with an interest in it and parking in the village to attend to make their opinions known.
Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘The current situation cannot continue – either we remove car parking on South Street or we lose the 4A on its current route.’
There are strong opinions both for and against.
County councillor Geoff Hockley said: ‘We need both the bus and the ability for people to come in and park and spend money to keep life in the village. If we lose the shops by putting double yellow lines outside them, then the village will struggle to survive.’
Cllr Hockley has been working with Community Action Fareham to come up with a solution, involving its minibus service, should First pull out.
Titchfield resident Michael Gausden, 75, from Ascot Close, said: ‘We don’t want parking on South Street, there’s only a few people, mainly traders, that do. We would rather keep the bus.’
A First spokesman said: ‘As far as we’re concerned, it is currently business as usual with the 4A. We shall continue working with the council towards a resolution for the parking issues in South Street.’
The CAT meeting is at 6.45pm on Friday, January 17 at the Parish Room, the Square, Titchfield.
The council will also be discussing the results of its parking survey, which could lead to changes in the village, including time restrictions being put in place.