Petition speech for the Policy and Resources Committee Feb 11th 2016

5000 people live in a detached, isolated and somewhat remote area of Brighton called Meadowview. A 1990’s built social housing estate up a long and steep hill…. With no post office, no pub, no church and no shop. The concerned area also includes The Sussex Beacon, A council run care home, cemeteries and a crematorium.

People are angry, they are anxious, and why? Because the bus service they rely on is totally inadequate! And this is having a huge impact on their lives!
At the moment there is a 75 min wait for a bus in the evenings. Walking the steep climb home from the Lewes Rd is not an option for the many elderly who live up there, or the disabled, or those with young children , pregnant women, those in poorer health, or those with bags of heavy shopping. And it is certainly not safe for the 13 year old who has just been to her dance class and needs to get home.

The Council is at the heart of our city and needs to ensure that blood gets pumped to all of our city’s residents at all times of day and evening. This petition asks the council to enable the provision of a satisfactory and sustainable bus service for the residents of Meadowview and the Coombe Rd area.

People living here are being unfairly marginalised by not being able to properly access the city. The youth are not able to utilise our city’s full facilities. They are not able to go swimming, play sport after school, go to the cinema, watch a band, play in a band, even a walk along the seafront is out of bounds. We are talking about youngsters from low income homes who are already at a disadvantage in our society. The council needs to recognise this and needs to support the people who are at a disadvantage. They ask for a regular and frequent bus service, one that takes them to and from their homes in a direct and sensible route and they also ask that the electronic REAL TIME DISPLAY always includes their bus, because usually it doesn’t! We have the signatures of 1,010 people who believe that these residents should have equal rights in accessing food, employment, education, health care, exercise , the Arts. Shouldn’t they be able to get out and about and then return home again safely and in good time? If it is not commercially viable for Compass buses to run a bus every 30 mins , is it then morally right for the council to turn its back on people who must have a frequent bus service to keep them connected and not detached? We believe that it is socially necessary and fair that the residents of Meadowview and Coombe Rd have access to reliable and frequent public transport!