Elderly residents in Kimberley fear they will be left stranded this Christmas after it was announced that a vital bus link is set to be cancelled.
Trent Barton has said the 27 bus, which goes from Ilkeston to Swingate, will no longer go up Maws Lane and down Hardy Street in Kimberley as of December 1.
The bus company told councillors that the decision had been made as it was no longer financially viable to include the streets in the route and that the changes would increase the punctuality of the service.
However, furious residents and town councillors have vowed to fight the decision and have started a petition.
Kimberley town councillor Sue Cooper said it was mainly because the people using the bus have bus passes so the company does not make money from them.
She added: “I am absolutely incensed that Trent Barton can be so heartless and uncaring.
“It’s all money money money. These people are going to be totally isolated.
“They use the bus not only for their shopping, but for social things too, like meeting their friends for coffee in Sainsburys.”
Cllr Cooper also explained that a lot of the residents use the bus to get to the cemetary where they go to attend graves of loved ones.
She said: “They are going to totally lose out.
“And it’s just before Christmas as well - how are they going to get out to do their Christmas shopping?”
Alex Hornby, Trentbarton Marketing and Communications Director, said the alterations had been made in an effort to improve the punctuality of the service which had suffered as a result of unpredictable congestion on local roads.
He added: “We do not see this situation improving and because the length and disruption caused by jams or inconsiderate parking can vary each day and at different times of the day, it is difficult to adjust timetables to fit around unpredictable traffic flows.
“Amending services in this way to insert additional time into the timetable is always a very last resort after we have considered every possible alternative and we apologise for any inconvenience to the small number of customers affected.”
Cllr Richard Robinson said: “Whilst we recognise the need for Trent Barton to make a profit, we believe every effort should be made to find a resolution to this decision which will harshly affect some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
Currently the 27 bus travels the Maws Lane route once every hour, while the other two 27 buses go straight along Eastwood Road.
These new changes would mean that only the two 27s that miss out Maws Lane would be running.
One Kimberley resident who did not want to be named said: “I class myself as an active 62 year old capable of walking home from Kimberley but not when I have to carry shopping or if the weather is bad.
“This bus is a lifeline to many people especially the elderly who reside in the bungalows across Alma Hill area, many of which require walking aids and find it difficult to even get to the bus stop.”
Cllr Cooper said that they were currently looking at options, such as using the minibus of the Volunteer Bureau, but they would have to charge residents for this service.