Councillor In Final Plea To Save ‘Lifeline’ Bus Route

A Labour councillor has made a final plea to the Conservative-run council to save a city bus route ahead of February’s budget setting meeting.

Drake ward councillor Charlotte Holloway has formally written to the Conservative Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Transport and the Cabinet Member for Finance to make an urgent plea to reconsider the decision to cut the 31 Bus, which took effect from the end of December.

The subsidy for the route, funded by Plymouth City Council, was essential for the running of the route which served parts of Mutley, Peverell, Pennycross and Beacon Park.

Cllr Holloway has been campaigning for the return of the bus alongside Drake ward’s Labour candidate Paul McNamara who has been in touch with hundreds of affected residents about the cut.

“I cannot overstate the extent to which the bus is a lifeline to residents across Plymouth,” said Cllr Holloway in her letter.

“Many with mobility challenges have told me they feel trapped in their homes, and during a cost of living crisis are unable to afford cab fares to get out and do the basics – get the weekly shop, see friends, to do the basics of life. Some have told me they bought their retirement homes in Drake ward precisely because the bus route offered them a way to stay connected.”

Commenting on the letter, Cllr Holloway added: “I’m appealing to these Conservative Councillors on a very human level. What do they expect residents to do? The answer to budget cuts must never be to effectively lock some people in their homes and remove access to the basics of life. The Conservatives have an opportunity to reconsider their decision at the crunch budget meeting later this month – I hope they take that opportunity because it will be life-changing for a number of vulnerable, elderly residents.”