Pleas for new bus service to serve Catherington

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DEMANDS have been made for a bus service in Catherington as many people feel isolated.

For the past six years there has been no bus going up and down Catherington Lane.

Community leaders have now written to bus firm First to ask if the 41 bus route can be diverted through Catherington at certain times during the day, rather than always travelling along the same A3 route from Clanfield to Portsmouth.

Catherington is home to one of the largest cemeteries in East Hampshire, but some people are unable to get there using public transport.

Sara Schillemore, a councillor for Catherington, said: ‘It’s dreadful there’s no bus service through Catherington – I could go on for hours.

‘We have a big cemetery with a Green Flag award and people can’t get to it.

‘We don’t need one an hour – but maybe four a day in each direction. It would make life so much easier.’

The issue was debated at the last community forum meeting.

A report from First said the size of the buses on the 41 service would not be able to negotiate the roads around Catherington when another large vehicle approaches in the opposite direction.

Cllr Schillemore added: ‘I understand buses are big, but there simply must be a way of getting a bus service there.’

Karen Baxter, spokeswoman for First, said Service 41 will cease to exist from November 18 and will be replaced by the new Service 8.

This will again run from Clanfield to Portsmouth along the London Road route.

She said: ‘As things stand there are no current plans to operate via Catherington Lane on a commercial basis as we do not believe it would be financially viable. The previous service was, we believe, provided under contract to the local authority, however the funding for this was withdrawn some time ago.’

Officials at the county council said they operated a taxi scheme for Catherington, Lovedean and Clanfield.

People have to book and services run from 9am until about 3pm.

This service is free to disabled people and pensioners with a bus pass.

A spokeswoman said there are more than 300 passenger journeys every month.