‘The wheels on the bus’-   bishop's rural transport call

Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley, who was installed and welcomed as the Area Bishop of Ripon in the Diocese of Leeds at the beginning of February says that accessible public transport is a matter of social justice and has called on regional policy makers to consider the impact of the loss of local bus services in rural areas.

In an article entitled ‘The wheels on the bus of social justice  for the Campaign for National Parks, Bishop Helen-Ann says that despite being in the role a short time she has already become aware of the difficulties being faced in her Episcopal area for those without cars.

Bishop Helen-Ann writes, “A recent BBC story on how the sustained reduction of bus coverage is affecting isolated rural communities peaked my interest. 

“Put bluntly, lack of access is an issue of social justice.  Although some innovative individuals have started to run their own bus services, there’s a broader issue of spending squeezes forcing many a local authority to make cuts. 

“My focus here is on a call to reflect more widely on what sort of society we want to be shaping not just for the future, but in the present?”

And the Bishop of Ripon calls for policy makers to try to avoid further cuts to bus services:  “So what can be done?  Well for starters, those who have responsibility for policy and budget-setting ought to consider carefully what the impact of withdrawal of essential services means not just now in the present time, but with the realisation that when you lose something, it’s far harder to get it back.”

Read the whole article here https://www.cnp.org.uk/blog/wheels-bus-social-justice

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