Plea to use new taxi service in the Deepings or risk losing it

A TRIAL taxi service set up by a parish council for residents affected by the loss of a bus route is in danger of folding if more people do not use it.

Stagecoach dropped its number 22 service from the Deepings to Peterborough earlier this year after Lincolnshire County Council cut its concessionary fare grants.

But Deeping St James residents complained that the loss of the service meant they had to walk up to two miles to their nearest bus stop in order to get to work or school in Peterborough.

More than 100 people attended a Deeping St James Parish Council meeting on the issue, and the council came up with the taxi solution.

The taxi service has been running for three weeks and was free for the first week, but now costs £1 per person per journey.

The council agreed to subsidise it to the cost of £200, but wants it to become self-funding in future.

Delaine, based in Bourne, added a loop through Deeping St James to its day bus service to Stamford, connecting Peterborough with Market Deeping.

But residents say the service is not good enough, particularly in the morning and in the evening.

Coun Judy Stevens said: “The fact that the bus service we had from the old part of Deeping St James was scrapped has impacted hugely on the residents of that part of the village.

“The service now is non-existent. With oil prices going through the roof and the government encouraging people not to use their cars I think the decision is lamentable and a disgrace.”

In the taxi scheme, vehicles from Rose Taxis, based in Frognall, pick people up in Eastgate, Church Street and Broadgate Lane and deliver them to the Horsegate Lane stop in time for the 7.26am bus.

Coun Dilks said the trial scheme has had some success, but needs more support if it is to be sustainable.

He added: “If we don’t get more people then we will have to stop it at the end of the month.

“People asked us to provide something, now they have to use it or lose it. We are saving them quite a bit.

“The cost of putting a bus on would be enormous.”

If you are interested in registering, contact the parish council clerk on 01778 343266 or clerk.dsjpc@btconnect.com