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Campaign for better bus service in Hook nears success
A LONG-RUNNING campaign for a better bus service in Hook could be at nearing success.
Bus operator Stagecoach is proposing a new 30/31 route that will stop at Hook and surrounding villages. The bus will start in Basingstoke and end in Farnborough, and take in villages such as Hook, Odiham, Church Crookham and Crondall, as well as Fleet.
Stagecoach said the hourly service will start from Sunday, April 14 and will be run by Fleet Buzz, a subsidiary of Stagecoach. Andrew Dyer, managing director of Fleet Buzz, said of the plan: “We have reviewed the bus network to ensure that we are best meeting the demand of customers as well as taking into account the local market conditions.”
At a meeting of Hook Parish Council, Councillor Mandy Butler, who has campaigned for months for better bus provision in the village, said: “The new service would mean we would be able to get to the Fleet area which would be amazing.”
She added: “It does not solve all the problems but it is more than we could have expected to get really.”
Stagecoach cut the No 10 bus route, which used to run from Basingstoke to Camberley, in October 2011 after Hampshire County Council slashed £2million from its bus subsidies.
A revised No 10 bus route, which runs from Basingstoke to Odiham via Hook, was criticised by people in Hook because its timetable and the timetable for the No 100 service were inadequate for people wishing to get to Camberley.
Cllr Butler said she attended a meeting with Stagecoach managers last Tuesday at which the new bus route was announced.
She said changes to the current No 100 bus, which runs from Hook to Camberley, were planned to give people more time in Camberley and Frimley Park Hospital.
But not everyone has welcomed the changes.
Cllr Gordon Winter said: “You can already go from here to Farnborough by train. “What benefit is this to the people of Hook? It’s a benefit to people in Crondall and Church Crookham.
“I remain sceptical until I see the timetable but I do not think it’s going to be much use to anybody.”