A PETITION calling for better public transport links in the Western Wards of Fareham is gaining momentum.
The petition has been set up by campaign group The Western Wards People’s Voice and calls on the county council to put more money into its bus subsidies to improve bus networks to Whiteley and to reinstate a service to Fareham Community Hospital.
The petition has so far received 42 signatures on Change.org and has a further 38 from paper petitions.
Green party candidate and co-founder of The Western Wards People’s Voice, Miles Grindey said: ‘I’ve lived in Warsash nearly all my life and it’s all too common that bus companies and councillors let down those who live in the Western Wards by cutting socially necessary services like the one to Fareham Community Hospital.’
Mr Grindey said he was inspired to set up the campaign after meeting residents while out canvassing and Warsash Residents’ Association meetings.
Mr Grindey said: ‘We are all saying that we want more buses and noone is listening. It’s frustrating and we need to stand together.’
Locks Heath resident Anne-Marie Burdfield said she joined the group after becoming disheartened at the amount of cuts to bus services in the last few years.
Mrs Burdfield said: ‘It’s not just a few of us thinking about this, it is a big issue. It has had an effect on lots of people, it’s a wide issue.’
Executive member for transport at the county council Cllr Sean Woodward said he had discussed these issues with managing director for bus company First Marc Reddy.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘Quite frankly this one is going nowhere. We have tried these services over the years now we need more innovative solution such as TaxiShare or DialaRide to deal with areas that are cut off. These services have been tried before and the issue is community support. To take notice, we would need to see hundreds of people that would like to use it.’
A separate petition has been started by the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital group and Mr Grindey said he hopes to join forces with them.
The group has put up posters around the Western Wards and holds monthly meetings at The Rising Sun in Warsash. For details of the next meeting search ‘The Western Wards People’s Voice’ on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.