The loss of even one bus service can be a burden

Have your say

For those of us who drive around in cars, passing bus stops in the rain with barely a moment’s thought, the plight of those who need to catch the number 11 bus on the A32 probably does not mean very much.

But consider for a moment those to whom the number 11 bus means an awful lot.

As Gosport councillor Graham Burgess points out, residents of Juniper Court – an extra care housing scheme in which elderly people live to retain some of their independence – rely on the service quite heavily.

For many of them a bus is the only way to get around and enjoy a bit of freedom.

There’s also a vast swathe of the area there which is not served by any other bus service, meaning those who do not have cars for whatever reason are left wholly without one of the cheapest forms of public transport.

So we applaud the efforts of Gosport Borough Council, who as we report today, have forked out £4,500 to subsidise the bus service for two years after a subsidy from the county council was cut.

It goes without saying that we live in difficult economic times, and we understand that local authorities are battling to balance their books while central government cuts funding in all directions.

But it is pleasing to see a local authority stepping up and finding a way to allocate some vital cash to an important service which will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the residents of its borough.

It is also good to see the creation of a bus working group in the town, where people can have their say on bus services.

We would encourage everybody to make their voices heard on the issue and ensure they are represented.

Those of us who do not use buses on a regular basis may not notice the absence of the number 11.

But we must bear in mind those with no other option.