Surrey County Council are reviewing the provision of bus services across the county and one of the routes proposed for closure is the 557. This is a link which runs across the whole borough, providing vital access to St Peter's hospital.
The biggest proposed change for Spelthorne would be the axing of the 557 route which runs from Addlestone to Hatton Cross via St Peter's Hospital, Shepperton, Upper Halliford, Sunbury Cross and Stanwell. This is a vital route which crosses the borough and for which there is no alternative. If this change is implemented it will have a significant negative impact for many residents of Spelthorne.
In recent years the level of subsidy that Surrey County Council has had to provide has risen rapidly from £4m in to 2002 to over £11m in the current year. Of the over 28m journeys taken in Surrey per year it is claimed that just over half are subsidised.
In response to this challenge Surrey County Council is undertaking a major review of the whole network of services. It comes as no surprise to the Liberal Democrats that the proposals arising from this review have come out just after the County elections, which were held in June 2009. The aim of the review is to cut costs by reducing the level of service. Buses are vital for many people who either do not have a car or cannot afford one. Any cuts to bus services will impact disproportionately on the poorest section of society.
External consultants started work in May 2008 and they have now made a series of recommendations for network changes which Surrey is now consulting on. The plan is to bring the changes in three phases, with Spelthorne Surrey being in the first phase, scheduled for September 2010.
Liberal Democrats would urge as many people as possible to respond to this consultation. It is vital that Surrey know the depth of local feeling before they make a final decision. Once a bus route is lost it will be almost impossible to ever get it back.
You can register your views via the Surrey website via the link below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by filling in a hard copy survey, which you will find in your local library, help shop or at Redhill bus information office. You can also request one from our contact centre by calling 03456 009 009.