Future of crucial First bus service for Titchfield is left hanging in balance

ON THE MOVE A First bus service
ON THE MOVE A First bus service
Here are roadworks scheduled for trunk roads this week

Here’s where to expect delays on the roads in the coming week

Have your say

FURIOUS Titchfield residents have hit out after First Group announced it could withdraw a bus service because of narrow roads.

Users of the 4A bus are keen for the route to remain.

But Chris Bainbridge, performance director of First bus company, told a community action team meeting that Titchfield was considered a ‘very high risk’ area and the cost of damage to buses, because of narrow roads, was costing the company thousands of pounds a year.

However, residents remain unconvinced and have called on other options to be considered to keep the bus route in place.

Paula Weaver, 81, of Ransom Close, Titchfield, said: ‘The answer to this so-called narrow road problem is simple: put yellow lines on South Street. If cars can’t park there, then buses can get through.’

Joyce Brien 84, of Southampton Hill, added: ‘Anyone with half a brain could see that putting yellow lines in South Street is the solution, but no-one wants to listen. And where does it stop?

‘With all the problems created by delivery drivers in the way, leaving vehicles not being able to get through, what happens if an ambulance can’t get past?’

Outraged Mike Gausden, 75, from Ascot Close, Titchfield, said: ‘We mean business. If First withdraws the 4A service, the whole of Hunts Pond Road, Common Lane, and the Bellfield estate will have no bus service at all.

‘This could mean people living in isolation could face a mile-long walk to the nearest bus stop.’

A spokesman for First said: ‘Representatives from our business met with others in the village last week to look at the issues first-hand to try to find a solution.

‘As a result, we have been assured that steps will be taken to ensure that bus services can flow more easily along South Street. This is good news all round and means the route of 4A through Titchfield should stay as it is for the foreseeable future.’

First said Hampshire County Council has made assurances that changes will be made to ensure the survival of the crucial bus service.

However, Titchfield ward Cllr Connie Hockley said: ‘We are trying to find a balance to solve this problem but it won’t be easy. As yet, no decision has been made.’