Tue, 30 Aug 2016
A DISABLED Tadley man says he has been forced to quit his job owing to council cuts to local bus services.
John Brodie, who suffers with mental health issues and epilepsy, said cuts by West Berkshire Council to the 104 service, a direct and regular bus between Newbury and Tadley, will see the service stop on September 3, to be replaced by a minibus.
“The minibus will only run on Monday and Wednesday afternoons – those times are no good to me,” said Mr Brodie, who worked as a water bailiff in Newbury.
“I will be travelling to other areas to get buses and connections – it will take up my entire day to get to Newbury.”
His epilepsy, which prevents him from driving, is worsened by stress and Mr Brodie said he recently suffered a seizure after being forced to hand in his notice to Newbury Angling Association, where he worked in a voluntary position as a water bailiff, owing to his transport issues.
He said that West Berkshire Council had carried out a public consultation prior to the cuts and he had sent a round-robin email to several local councillors and to Newbury MP Richard Benyon on March 1.
But, he said that he didn’t receive a single reply.
“I told them about my predicament and asked them what they could put in place from Monday to Friday, ie a small vehicle,” said Mr Brodie.
Mr Benyon’s office said last week that they had no record of receiving Mr Brodie’s email on March 1.
“As far as our records show, he has never chased this, or he would have had a reply much earlier,” said Michele De Angeli, a spokesperson for Mr Benyon.
“We can only apologise to him that, if it was received, it was overlooked.”
She said the issue had been taken up with West Berkshire Council, as it was ultimately a council matter, but that Mr Brodie would receive a response from Mr Benyon while he was on leave by the middle of this week at the latest.
Council spokesman Martin Dunscombe said a response on the issue had been sought from the council’s Conservative group.
However, no response had been received at the time of going to press.