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Community drive to save Fowey's bus

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

BUS TALKS:  Angry residents at the Fowey Town Bus  stop, pictured back in December.

BUS TALKS: Angry residents at the Fowey Town Bus stop, pictured back in December.

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FOWEY residents campaigning to save the town bus are holding a public meeting on Friday.

Following concerns Cornwall Council is to reclassify the service as a tourist bus, meaning pensioners and people with disabilities will no longer be entitled to subsidised bus fares, locals rallied together in a bid to save what they describe as an "essential service" for the town.

Julie Yeo, who has operated Fowey Town Bus for the past eight years, said she has been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

"A lot of people have written to the council. We've had a really good response," she said.

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"Everybody has backed us all the way, which is really encouraging."

The meeting is being held on Friday at 2.30pm at the Royal British Legion.

St Austell town mayor Steve Double is due to attend and organisers said MP Stephen Gilbert has also been invited.

"It's a chance for people to get together and air their views," Mrs Yeo said.

"Sadly I'm away so won't be there, which is a real shame but it will give people the chance to have their say."

The grandmother of six explained the service is more popular now than ever and provides a lifeline for elderly residents.

"It's got busier every year," she said.

Last month a Facebook group was set up calling for residents to write to Cornwall Council to object to the proposals to reclassify the service.

It has so far gained more than 400 supporters.

Cornwall Council said it reviews the eligibility of bus services to be included in the Concessionary Travel Scheme on an annual basis.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "As part of this process the authority sends details of the proposed scheme to all bus operators to enable them to give their views on the draft scheme.

They added: "The council is keen to hear the views of all bus operators on the proposed Concessionary Travel Scheme for 2014-15."

Anyone wishing to write to the council regarding the potential reclassification of the Fowey Town Bus service is asked to send a letter to Cornwall councillor Bert Bisoce at Cornwall Council, County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY, before March 3.

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