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Caister bus fears

PUBLISHED: 16:59 01 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:29 03 July 2010

CHANGES to bus routes in Caister could leave elderly villagers stranded, according to one pensioner.

Evelyn Wing, 72, said bus company First Eastern's plans to bypass Prince of Wales Road by routing the bus services 1 and 1A along Norwich Road instead, would make it difficult for elderly residents in her street to walk to the bus stop in Norwich Road.

CHANGES to bus routes in Caister could leave elderly villagers stranded, according to one pensioner.

Evelyn Wing, 72, said bus company First Eastern's plans to bypass Prince of Wales Road by routing the bus services 1 and 1A along Norwich Road instead, would make it difficult for elderly residents in her street to walk to the bus stop in Norwich Road.

The widow, of Diana Way, who has lived in Caister for 14 years, was also concerned that questionnaires gauging villagers' views on the plans had not been delivered to many homes in Diana Way and other streets off Prince of Wales Road, meaning many had not been able to give their opinions.

Mrs Wing said it was easier for her to get to the existing stop in Prince of Wales Road close to Diana Way than the stop in Norwich Road. It was not only further away, but would involve her having to cross the road to get to it.

She uses the bus three or four times a week to travel to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston to do her shopping.

Her solution was to keep the Prince of Wales Road stop and instead run smaller buses on the services between Lowestoft and Martham, which stop every 30 minutes in Prince of Wales Road.

She added: “I think it is wrong because it is not fair on the elderly villagers because many of us suffer from aches and pains which makes it very hard for us to walk to the bus stop.”

Tony Baker, chairman of Caister Road Safety Committee, said the committee had delivered 150 surveys on behalf of First Eastern, enough for homes in Prince of Wales Road and a few homes in the neighbouring streets, such as Diana Way.

However, he added there were still 70 or 80 forms available at Caister Post Office for anybody who wanted to respond to the consultation.

The deadline for completed surveys to be returned was supposed to be today, Friday, but Mr Baker added this could be extended to allow for late returns.

The changes have arisen following pressure by villagers to get the buses moved away after teenager Matthew Eckett and 12-year-old Luke Emery died following collisions with buses in the Prince of Wales Road area.

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