‘Village will be isolated’

STUDENTS, pensioners and councillors have united to show their anger over the bus plans which will “isolate” their village.

Imogen Grylls, from Dalton Piercy, is a student at English Martyrs Sixth Form College who says she is faced with either getting a taxi or walking an hour-and-a-half to college every day.

The 17-year-old said: “My dad works away during the week and my mum is on crutches, so I’m not sure how I will be able to get to college come April.

“The college said they may get me a taxi, but they can’t do that forever and it is a long walk every day.”

Steve Mailen, resident representative and sub-postmaster at Elwick Village Post Office, said: “This is going to cut off most of the residents in Elwick and Dalton Piercy.

“How are the less mobile and elderly going to get to doctors and hospital appointments and do their shopping without the bus service? A lot of them used Dial-a-Ride, but that has gone too.”

Mark Ashton, 46, who owns Ashfield Caravan Park in Dalton Piercy, said: “This will affect businesses and tourism in the area as the bus stops just outside our site at the moment.”

Chris Banks, chairman of Elwick Parish Council, said: “This will cut off a lifeline for a lot of people who rely on the bus service to get into Hartlepool.

“We don’t have a doctors or a dentist in the village.”

Mark Henderson (above), 18, of Greenlea, in Elwick, is a student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and he relies on the buses to get to college and to work at Primark on a weekend.

He said: “People cannot afford to rely on taxis as they are too expensive. I rely on my parents, but there are other students in the village who will struggle to get to college.”

Marion Tobin, 69, from Greenlea, a divorced mum-of-two, has set up a petition calling on Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and his cabinet committee to reconsider the decision.

She added: “I currently drive, but there are days when I can’t due to medical problems and I need to use a bus.

“We know that cuts are essential but they do not take into account what affect it is having on people, particularly on communities in rural areas.”

Retired barmaid Elizabeth Quest, 73, of Mount Pleasant, Elwick, said: “This will have a catastrophic affect on the village.

“This is going to be isolating and we cannot walk into town because there are no pavements”, added Mrs Quest, who is married to Brian, 77.