Rother Valley MP is making improving bus services a top priority

My constituents will be aware that I have made improving transport connectivity in Rother Valley a top priority.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:00 am

Since my election, the poor bus service in our area has been one of the issues that constituents raise with me time and time again.

These complaints are invariably levelled against First Bus who operate the vast majority of routes in the constituency.

I have spoken countless times in Parliament, with ministers and Government, and to local authorities and stakeholders about my frustration with the bus provision in our area.

Alexander Stafford, Rother Valley MP. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

The situation is disgraceful – buses are infrequent, tickets are expensive, coverage of the constituency is patchy and incomplete, and the services that do exist are utterly unreliable.

The problem is especially acute given that Rother Valley is a transport desert.

Car ownership in Rother Valley is lower than the national average, we do not have any rail infrastructure to connect our towns, and the semi-rural nature of the constituency makes cycling and walking between settlements totally unfeasible.

Rother Valley’s transport situation means that buses are absolutely critical in connecting our communities.

Instead, I have received reports of elderly people standing at bus stops for two hours in all weathers to ensure that if one bus does not arrive, they still have a chance of catching the service an hour later and thereby making their appointment.

This state of affairs can no longer continue and in response, I raised the issue in Parliament with the Prime Minister last year and launched the Rother Valley Transport Task Force (RVTTF).

I am now pleased to announce that the RVTTF is hosting a meeting with the chief executive of First Bus, Nigel Eggleton, on March 10 at 10am.

This is open to all residents of Rother Valley and will be our chance to put our questions and concerns to Nigel.

Due to the current coronavirus restrictions, this meeting will take place virtually, via Zoom.

If you would like to receive the joining details, please contact me at [email protected] along with any questions you may wish to raise during the meeting.

Alexander Stafford is MP for Rother Valley.