Hopper Bus Fails To Appear(January 13, 2016)
The RUH Hopper bus campaign has not appeared on the agenda of an important Wiltshire Council meeting as one Warminster town councillor expresses fears that the decision will now be taken behind closed doors.
"I checked the agenda of the Cabinet meeting next week after having met with Independent Wiltshire Councillor Terry Chivers to discuss the future of the Hopper service to Bath," said Town Councillor Paul Macdonald.
"Terry has been working very hard with Independent Wiltshire Councillors Helen and Jeff Osborne to press our case at county hall with some success. I wanted to there to support them.
"I had intended to speak at that meeting. This was going to be an important chance to press the cabinet which includes Warminster Conservative councillors as voting members."
The RUH Hopper bus petition attracted 5,000 signatures and saw it given a reprieve last year after the outcry to allow time for an approach to various parts of the NHS to help find an answer.
"It seems that Wiltshire Council want to make the Hopper decision behind closed doors and not directly involve the public," said Cllr. Helen Osborne.
"This is not good enough. Too many people depend on the Hopper to access the RUH. We fear they want to cease funding it and want to do it in secret.”
The Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Philip Whitehead, could use his delegated powers to make the decision and then issue it out to other councillors and the public.
“This makes a mockery of democracy," claimed Cllr. Terry Chivers. We know there are hundreds of local people who want to have their say on this vital matter.”
Campaigners across the county are still awaiting the publication of the results of the recently concluded survey of Hopper bus users.
“People should write direct to Councillor Philip Whitehead and Leader Jane Scott at County Hall, Trowbridge, expressing their dissatisfaction with the way the whole affair had been handled," said Cllr. Jeff Osborne,
"There are really no satisfactory alternatives to this crucial transport service. Many will suffer if it ceases."
The RUH Hopper bus service is based in the town of Warminster which is the furthest away from the hospital in Bath.
"My next opportunity to speak on this is the full council of Wiltshire Council on Tuesday 23rd February," adds Cllr Macdonald
"I am now really concerned that the decision will have been made by then."