Stanwell Moor used to have the 441 bus as its main connection with Heathrow's Terminal 5. In the past two years the village lost the 441, which was replaced by the 557 bus, with one positive change (no ticket between Stanwell Moor and T5) and one serious limitation
: no buses from Stanwell Moor to T5 after 6:44PM, and - more importantly for citizens returning home from Heathrow - no service from the airport to the village after 7:05PM.
The alternative, for those working late and reaching Heathrow after 7:05PM, is to take the 441, which leaves them outside the village, with a further 15/20 minutes walking to get home, or ... just walking home from T5, which is easier said than done (and it's about 40 minutes).
Bad enough, I'd say. But I wish things would not change. Instead...
Surrey County Council "have worked with bus operators to negotiate better contracts that will give the council better value for money
", according to Surreysays.co.uk
. But this means that "to make the required savings needed from the review, we are now proposing some changes to local bus services in the West and East of Surrey
". And this is where things get worse for the little village of Stanwell Moor: the proposed changes would alter the route of bus 557, bypassing Stanwell Moor altogether (see proposed changes here
557: the current route to Heathrow
At the moment, service 557's route see the bus starting in Woking, then going to McClarens, Ottershaw, St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey,
Shepperton, Upper Halliford, Sunbury Cross, Sunbury Tesco, Ashford
Common, Feltham Hill Road, Ashford, Ashford Hospital (also known as Ashford Tesco...), Stanwell, Stanwell Moor
, Heathrow Terminal 5
557: the new route to Heathrow
With the changes described here
, the 557 would still start in Woking, then it would go to Sheerwater, Woodham, New Haw Black Prince, White Hart, Addlestone, Addlestone Moor, Eastworth Road, Chertsey, Shepperton, Upper Halliford, Sunbury Cross, Sunbury Tesco. And that's it.
Ashford, Stanwell and Stanwell Moor would not have the 557 service anymore. And for Stanwell Moor, that's the only service to Heathrow, so close yet so far.
Stanwell Moor loses bus 557: what happens next?
If the proposed changes were to go ahead, we would see
- Residents of Stanwell Moor working in Heathrow would need to find an alternative mode of transportation;
- Elderly citizens living in the village and unable to walk long enough to take the 441 bus would be further isolated;
- Shops in Heathrow Terminal 5 would lose business from those residents of Stanwell Moor who currently prefer to take the 557 to T5 if they need to do a quick shopping, instead of going to Staines-upon-Thames;
- Residents of the village going to Heathrow to take either the Tube to London, or another bus, or a flight, would need to use an alternative more of transportation;
- Less public transport, more individual cars on the road, more pollution and more traffic around Heathrow Airport (do we really need this?);
- Prospective tenants and purchasers of properties in Stanwell Moor would be less likely to consider a property that has no train station and now no bus service;
- With less prospective home owners, properties in Stanwell Moor would lose value.
Would anybody benefit from this? Not Stanwell Moor's citizens, for sure.
The Conspiracy Theory Corner
Any plan to expand Heathrow Airport would benefit from the Stanwell Moor's properties losing value. Any company or agency wishing to acquire the village's land would save a lot of money with even a small in the value of each property. Not such a far-fetched theory, isn't it?
What can Stanwell Moor do? Yes, I am talking to YOU too!
First, don't think this is somebody else's business: even if you do not personally use the 557 bus, its removal would affect you too, as demonstrated above. So... visit www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/closed-copy-of-ltr/consultation/subpage.2015-05-01.3658057104/view and take the survey.
Then visit www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/closed-copy-of-ltr and look at the sections How to have your say and Public events. In the next few days there will be events in Woking (Thursday 21 May 10:30 - 12:30pm Cawsey Way near Toys R US), Addlestone (Thursday 21 May 14:00 - 16:00pm Station Road by Lloyds bank), Walton on Thames (Friday 22 May 10:30 - 12:30pm Studio Plaza, The Heart Shopping Centre) and finally Staines upon Thames, on Friday 22 May 14:00 - 16:00pm at Elmsleigh Bus Station.
Don't expect anybody but you to do something. Act NOW!
Date: 21/05/2015, 13:33
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