Email to Essex County Council re. Waltham Abbey bus services

Email sent to Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Education and Passenger Transport portfolio holder, requesting support for the EOS London 66 and 86 services.

Dear Cllr Gooding,

I am writing to ask for your help to save bus services which connect Waltham Abbey to local towns, amenities and further public transport facilities.

As you are aware, EOS London intend to reduce their 86 and 66 services from 6th May.

  • The 86 service between Harlow and Waltham Abbey will no longer run on Saturdays and will exclude Nazing from the route.
  • The 66 service will end at 8.15pm, losing the 8.45pm Waltham Cross to Honey Lane/Marriott and 9.15pm return Waltham Cross to Loughton services.

These service reductions come on top of the loss of the 250 and 251 late evening services in August 2017 and 505 weekday services in late 2016.

Data I submitted to Essex County Council (ECC) on 9th March 2018, on behalf of the Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG), demonstrate a clear need for late evening bus services to be restored and I am grateful to yourself and ECC’s Passenger Transport team for your work and consideration towards subsidising these services.

In light of this, and the progress that has been made, the news from EOS London comes as a real blow to the residents and businesses of Waltham Abbey.

People here are feeling increasingly isolated unless they have access to a private car and/or can afford regular taxi journeys.

These services connect Waltham Abbey to, for want of a better term, the outside world, providing links to Waltham Cross train station, Loughton underground station and around Waltham Abbey itself.

A lot of work needs to be done to improve public transport, cycling infrastructure and pedestrian routes in Waltham Abbey and Epping Forest more widely, especially in light of the substantial residential and commercial development proposed in the Epping Forest Local Plan, and I am grateful to Cllr Sam Kane for getting the ball rolling at District Council level.

However, there is an urgent need to protect our existing services, and extend the 66 into the late evening. Saving and improving the services would reduce pollution, reduce traffic congestion, ease parking problems, improve health and allow more people to access our services and businesses, improving our local economy.

To this end I ask you, on behalf of the numerous local residents, businesses and community groups who have contacted me, to liaise with EOS London and agree a level of subsidy which would make the services, both existing and extended to late evening, viable.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Plummer

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