A CAMPAIGN to overhaul Tavistock’s bus services has taken a major step forward with a petiton handed to borough councillors.

Years of unhappiness with the frequent changes to routes and unreliability of services within and out of the town have led to the protest aimed at Devon County Council (DCC).

The petition signed by passengers and others from the Tavistock area is now with West Devon Borough Council, having already been presented to Tavistock Town Council. The petition calls on the councillors and the councils to formally support the demands.

The rallying cry is aimed at those with influence and responsibility for public transport for schoolchildren, commuters and shoppers, demanding they put pressure on the county to improve the service – both routes and timetables.

The issue came to a head a few weeks ago with one Stagecoach service asking some children from Tavistock, on their way to Plymouth schools, to leave the bus at Yelverton and wait for the next bus – which was then late.

Former local councillor Graham Parker, of Tavistock, has spearheaded raised the petition calling on DCC to delegate bus service control to the borough council.

Other demands include improving services through Whitchurch (the 86 and 89 — formerly a single 89 service), increase the amount of money promised by developers to fund bus and other public services serving particular new housing estates and a commitment to a reliable service from Tavistock to Plymouth which are used by students of the boys and girls Devonport high schools (this was served by the now scrapped Plymouth Citybus 104 and 105). Graham spoke to the full meeting of the borough council when he handed the petition to West Devon Mayor Cllr Lynn Daniel in the week before Christmas.

He said: “This petition is urging the return of our bus services (to where people really want them). In the past few weeks the local bus services in Tavistock have been severely reduced. All users, from the very young to the very old, have been severely harmed without any consultation (from the county council). We, on the petition, are asking our elected representatives – our MP and our county, West Devon Borough and Tavistock town councillors to sign my petition to put pressure on Devon County Council. This is to emphasise how dismayed we are that our local bus services have been depleted and withdrawn without consultation with the people of Tavistock. We ask our elected representatives to protest on behalf of all users of these services and to work with us to reinstate the 89 local bus service, to replace the new 86 and 89 buses and reinstate the 104 and 105 service for our children.”