Crowdfunding used in Bus Rescue Mission
Campaign for Better Transport is using crowdfunding, a form of online money pledging, to help fund awareness raising initiatives on the importance of bus services. The campaign group’s Bus Rescue Mission aims to reach the £5,000 donation mark to finance workshops for local groups in six key areas. They are aimed at explaining what locals can do to save their buses. If it reaches its goal, the organisation promises to go to North Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Powys, Bolton, Hampshire and Somerset to deliver the workshops.
In support of this bid, bus campaigners from Fleet, Hampshire and the organisation have taken to the buses to highlight the impact recent local cuts to services have had. Stephanie Weller, who uses a wheelchair, and Sarah Horton, both from Fleet, have videoed a bus trip to Frimley Park Hospital to show the difficulties now faced by people who rely on buses to access the hospital. A journey which used to take well under an hour can now take up to four hours due to services and routes in the area being axed since Hampshire County Council cut almost £1.5m from its bus budget.
Stephanie Weller said, ‘I rely on wheelchair accessible buses to get to Frimley Park hospital regularly and since the council cut the bus funding my life has become much harder. Just getting to Fleet from my home in Pondtail is now an ordeal as the 77 bus was cut in January. I now have to get a pre booked taxi to Fleet, then the number 72 to Farnborough then if I’m lucky I make the number 2 bus to Frimley Park Hospital. This journey is now a complete nightmare, and it’s really having an impact.’
Public Transport Campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, Martin Abrams, said, ‘Experiences like Stephanie’s are being repeated all over the country as people see their bus services being withdrawn in the face of budget cuts. Council leaders in Hampshire and elsewhere need to recognise the importance of buses to people, communities and the local economy. Our Bus Rescue Mission is about helping people like Sarah and Stephanie fight for better public transport in their area and so we urge people to lend their support to help us ensure that these problems don’t keep happening.’
Visit https://buzzbnk.org/BusRescue to see the Campaign’s crowdfunding page.