01:00PM, Friday 21 April 2017
A plea has been made for the council to continue funding a bus route which is a ‘lifeline’ for residents in Wraysbury and Horton.
The future of the 305 bus route, which runs from Staines to Colnbrook, via Wraysbury and Horton, is in jeopardy after a subsidy was withdrawn by Surrey County Council last August.
The Royal Borough stepped in to keep the service running on a month-by-month rolling contract but is now set to decide whether to fund it on a long-term basis.
During a meeting of the borough’s Highways, Transport and Overview and Scrutiny Panel at Maidenhead Town Hall on Tuesday, Wraysbury resident Henry Perez urged the council to continue supporting the route.
He said: “A number of elderly, especially non-drivers, use the transport into Staines to go shopping and to socialise.
“It allows the elderly a chance to visit friends and relatives in adjoining communities.
“In my opinion, the 305 provides a lifeline to so many in our neighbouring communities and I ask that you give consideration to funding this service.”
Mr Perez launched a petition in February, which gathered more than 600 online signatures, asking the borough to keep funding the route.
Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) questioned whether the council should fund a route that took residents out of the borough.
She said: “We’re paying for residents to go and shop in another borough.
“I could understand if we’re paying residents from another borough to come and shop with us.”
Cllr Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) added: “In a borough such as Windsor and Maidenhead where we have such a high proportion of elderly and retired people who will gradually cease to use their cars, buses become more and more important.”
The council’s cabinet will decide during a meeting on Thursday whether or not to spend an extra £153,000 for the next five years to help finance existing bus routes.
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