ELDERLY villagers in Midlothian are losing their independence due to cuts in the local bus service, campaigners have warned.
The Advertiser reported last week that residents in Millerhill, Newton Village, Hilltown and Old Craighall would no longer have direct links to Musselburgh or Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when the 308 service was withdrawn on April 4.
Midlothian Council has arranged for a Dial-a-Bus service to be available to villagers, but Newton Village resident Elizabeth Bryce (62), who is leading the campaign to have the bus service reinstated, said the alternative plans are not a suitable solution.
She told the Advertiser: “I don’t think it’s a very good idea. People want their independence. They want a bus service to get from A to B.
“The Dial-a-Bus is not very social because it means people can’t get on the bus to visit you. The council saying there is a bus once a week on a Thursday to take people up to ASDA is not good enough.”
Harry Wright (73), from Millerhill, said the cuts would leave many elderly and vulnerable people isolated: “There are people go on the bus up to Dalkeith and it is the only time they get out.
“I’ve got to walk up to Danderhall to get a bus. With my legs and having angina as well, it takes a long time. I’ve got to walk up a big hill and it kills me.
“We have got absolutely nothing. There’s not even a shop. It’s really bad. They just seem to be forgetting about us because we live in a wee village. There are people who work at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary who were catching that bus, but now it’s cut off altogether.”
Read the full story in this week’s Advertiser.