Caldicot pensioner's bus plea
7:01am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A CALDICOT pensioner is calling for his regular bus route to be re-instated.
Graham Cole, 76, of Castle Lea, has criticised the decision by bus company Stagecoach to re-route the X74 and 74 services which run between Chepstow and Newport.
Mr Cole, a retired manager at the former Sudbrook Paper Mill, regularly catches the bus on Chepstow Road, Caldicot to travel to Newport until last month when Stagecoach changed the route to travel via Caldicot Bypass, missing out Chepstow Road altogether.
Mr Cole, who is disabled and suffers with Diabetes, used the bus stop on Chepstow Road-100 yards from his home but is now forced to walk a quarter-of-a-mile with heavy shopping to catch the bus at Caldicot Cross.
He said: “Buses have been running via Chepstow Road, Caldicot for the last 60 years or more. Since it was taken over by Stagecoach they ran an X74 via Chepstow Road and a 74 via the Caldicot Bypass to Caldicot Cross and Newport.”
“We, at Castle Lea and Castle Lodge Crescent, which makes up 300 homes, are now excluded from the service since the new route was introduced on July 22.”
“I tried it for a week but the walk was just too tiring. I rely on the bus to go shopping and to medical appointments. I live on my own and feel like I’ve lost my independence.”
He wants to see Chepstow Road included in the route, if even for alternate services.
Mr Cole wrote to the company and was told the changes were made following consultation with customers.
Mark Tunstall, operations manager for Stagecoach, said whilst the situation is regrettable the new route was introduced to provide a common route for all its services in Caldicot.
He said: “In considering the changes to be made when reviewing our services in the area we felt this to be an inspiration that was likely to improve the service for the majority of passengers.”
“Unfortunately this does mean that Chepstow Road in Caldicot will no longer be served by these routes but other stops are available within a reasonable walking distance for the majority of passengers."