Student calls for council to reinstate bus service

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News

A student has set up an online petition to reinstate the X31 bus service operating via Studham.

Michael Allsopp, of Studham, set up the petition to bring back the service that runs between Hemel Hempstead and Luton because he could no longer get to Queensbury Academy to study for his A-Levels.

The 18-year-old said: “I want Central Bedfordshire Council to bring back the bus service, it has brought great inconvenience to the people in the local villages - Studham, Kensworth, Whipsnade.

“I can no longer get to school, I used to get the bus, I have to rely on my parents if they are off work, or get a taxi. I know some people have had to leave their jobs because they had no other way of getting to work.

“I do not understand how they have to cut the service because of funding problems, but then a splash park is built in Dunstable, this bus service is crucial to many people.”

A council spokesperson said: “Following last year’s consultation on the passenger transport strategy, the X31 bus service operating via Studham was withdrawn earlier in the year as we implemented our new passenger transport strategy.

“We could not justify retaining the x31 service in its old format due to the extremely low passenger numbers, especially in view of the costs of operating the service.

“In the circumstances, there is unfortunately no prospect of the X31 service being reintroduced. However we have introduced a new service on route 43 to provide a link between Studham and Dunstable.

“We will continue to work with bus operators in the local area to introduce improved services wherever possible, within the constraints of the funding that is available to us. In relation to college pupils, Central Bedfordshire Council will be looking at applications for concessionary places on school transport services shortly, once we have dealt with all the applications from entitled pupils.”

Michael set up the petition last month and it has 212 signatures.

He said: “The response from people has been positive, a lot of people here want and need the service running again. There will be a paper petition for people to sign in The Bell Inn in Studham.”

To sign the petition visit: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-the-x31-bus-service-to-hemel-hempstead-luton.