Old people's longer walk to bus stop angers Councillor Mario Fonk
THE Heamoor councillor campaigning for improved bus services to an estate which is home to more than 100 elderly and disabled residents is continuing to press the council for a change of heart.
For the past couple of months, Mario Fonk has been asking David Edwards, Cornwall Council's group leader of the passenger transportation service, to review the service into Penzance from the Roscadghill estate which, since the start of November, runs just three times a day in each direction.
Mr Fonk says: "I feel very angry and frustrated when I see elderly people struggling to walk to the alternative bus stops which are quite a distance away.
"A lot of them tell me that they are now not able to go into town as much as they used to and are feeling lonely and isolated at times."
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He also says that he has been "reliably informed" that the footfall in Roscadghill is "significantly higher" than in nearby Manor Way which has an hourly bus service. However he was told by Mr Edwards that even if Cornwall Council and the First bus company were able to make changes "there is the legally necessary 56 days' registration for bus service amendments, so nothing could be in place until early February".
Mr Fonk insists that a change to the bus timetable can be through a short notice registration, if there is a need to "meet an urgent or exceptional transport requirement".
"The Roscadghill Road area with two sheltered estates with over 100 old or disabled people certainly meets that criteria," he said.
Mr Edwards says he will look at the issue again but adds: "To provide additional journeys to Roscadghill will mean taking journeys away from other areas."
He also says that the granting of short-notice registrations is "solely at the discretion of the traffic commissioner and cannot be guaranteed".