Pensioners and disabled residents have been left ‘high and dry’ after a lifeline bus service was axed without warning.
The number eight service ran from Burnley to Burnley Wood via Branch Road for 50 years.
The lack of the bus service is making people become isolated and losing their independence, which in turn will potentially create health problems for many of our residents who – like many – live on their own, with family living out of townKaren
But a route alteration now means the bus bypasses such social hubs as Burnley Wood Club and Burnley Wood Community Centre.
The service now travels along Todmorden Road towards Bacup instead.
The change reportedly came with no prior warning, with one elderly gentleman waiting for the bus which takes him from Briercliffe to the community centre, only to find the service had been cancelled.
Residents relied on the bus as a lifeline connection with the town and other services, including the hospital, shops and doctors.
Karen Heseltine, Burnley Wood Community Centre Activities and Bookings Manager, said: “We must have at least 60 letters of concern from the bus service users of Burnley Wood.
“Since we found out about our ‘non-bus service’, we at the community centre have been bombarded with worried elderly and disabled residents of Burnley Wood and community centre users with their concerns about not being able to get into town, [to] shop [and] get to hospital and doctor’s appointments.”
The locals only found out about the route change from the bus drivers themselves.
“The previous bus service provider was TransDev,” said Karen. “We were told another bus service was taking over the route but it appears the alleged new provider has no intentions of bringing our much-needed bus service back into Burnley Wood and Branch Road.
“The lack of the bus service is making people become isolated and losing their independence, which in turn will potentially create health problems for many of our residents who – like many – live on their own, with family living out of town,” continued Karen.
“Our Community Centre here in Burnley Wood was set up to help prevent loneliness and becoming isolated, and bringing the community together, offering services Burnley Wood needs, and here is a service provider removing a valuable service our area desperately needs.”