Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bus Pass Farce

Commuter belt alms houses

A pensioner in Steep has complained that her free bus pass has been rendered absolutely valueless because the bus service she used to use has been cancelled. 

"It's not worth the plastic it's printed on," said Anne Cestraloam. 

Cancellation of the 95 Countryliner service has meant that Cestraloam no longer has a bus picking her up from outside her 15th century almshouse. This puts her in the same position as about 98 per cent of elderly people who live in rural locations, except she lives in a historic listed building. 

"I think you're missing the point dear,” the increasingly angry old lady told our reporter. "You see I used to have it really easy with the bus picking me up and dropping me off only a few feet from the bottom of my beautiful garden. 

"It was a lovely big bus and there was always lots of room. In fact, if you time your journey right, I was often the only person on it."

We put it to Cestraloam that if it really was just her catching the bus, perhaps Hampshire County Council were actually justified in ceasing the service.

"Oh, it's not just me dear," Cestraloam insisted. “Mr Jenkins, Mr Trubshaw and Mrs Merryweather will also be at a complete loss without the service.”

We asked  Cestraloam whether these were here neighbours, and were they also completely dependent upon the bus, adding weight to her argument that there is indeed a need for the 95 service? 

"Neighbours, no dear, they all have cars. Jenkins is my butler, Trubshaw is the gardener and Mrs Merryweather is my cook, although to be honest I'm thinking of letting her go, her quiches are simply awful. Can you recommend any good cooks dear?” 

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council claimed the bus route had been cancelled as part of the village’s ongoing drive for independence.

He said: “We keep hearing that Sheet wants independence from Petersfield and this was all planned as part of a move towards that goal. Steep? Is that not the same place? Oh bugger it!”


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