Issued: August 21, 2017
Waltham Abbey Town Council voices concerns over proposed bus cuts
Waltham Abbey could be virtually cut off from neighbouring towns after 7.30pm if evening cuts are made to the 250 and 251 bus services, the town council fears.
The town council has voiced its strong objections to the proposed changes in its response to Essex County Council.
Councillors fear the cuts will leave areas of the town isolated which would have a number of detrimental effects on peoples' health and well-being, with an adverse effect on "social capital".
Council leader councillor Liz Webster said: "There would be an adverse effect on employment, as there would be no available service for the evening economy, or people returning from work further afield.
"Waltham Abbey is identified in the Office of National Statistics as having areas of high
"It is essential to these areas that bus services remain available during the evening as well as during the daytime. It reduces peoples' options when looking for work, as well as those who already work during the evenings."
The town council has also highlighted the impact the changes would have on the evening economy with fewer people visiting the town for the evening impacting on restaurants and bars.
Counncillor Webster added: "The loss of these services means non-driving residents will be stuck in and around their own homes and not be able to go further afield in the evenings.
"There may also be an adverse impact on people who use evening transport for health and educational purposes including hospital visits.
"As the bus service 505 has been cut completely and now there is the threat to curtail evening service via the 250 and 251, we believe Waltham Abbey is being poorly served by public transport.
"At this rate there will be few bus services left.
"We are all encouraged to use public transport for a multitude of reasons. Many residents cannot drive, or own a car, so they are dependent on public transport, but a poor and decreasing service does not encourage public transport usage. It is a downward spiral.
"Unlike towns such as Waltham Cross, Debden, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping and Loughton, we do not have either a mainline or London Underground station.
"We are dependent for our public transport on the bus services, not only to get to destinations themselves but also to access other modes of transport.
"These are slowly but surely being eroded to the detriment of our residents."