THOSE living on the Longridge estate will be left ‘cut off’ from town after Cheshire East Council’s bus cuts come into force in April, says one concerned resident.

Semi-retired Laurence Gladwell, 65, told the Guardian that CEC’s decision to cut the 300 service on weekday evening and Saturdays is short-sighted and could lead to division between areas of the town.

Residents, including the elderly and vulnerable, now face a round-trip walk of around three miles to spend time in the town centre, with half of it likely to be with bags in tow.

Mr Gladwell said: “I have lived on the estate 35 years and always used the bus to get into town on days off or for nights out.

“It’s been a lifeline. Since I have semi-retired I have given up motorbiking and I use the bus. I have no way of getting off the estate – people are isolated. The bus is a link to town, the shops, bars and even the train.

“I can walk, not a problem, but there are older people who are completely cut off. They can’t walk into town, and they certainly can’t carry heavy bags back.

Aside from a lengthy walk to involve the dip and The Moor, residents face around a £10 spend on taxis to get to town and back, with decisions taken to cut the service despite public objection.

Mr Gladwell said: “They [CEC cabinet members] have never used buses. They have never had to rely on it as we do.

“I went to the library, filled out my form, said my piece, and I have wasted my time. It’s almost as if they don’t care.”

The Knutsford-circular 300 service will continue to run on weekdays, with the final bus leaving Canute Place at 5.15pm.

CEC estimates it will save just over £1 million from the cuts to its bus services, down from the £1.6 million initially anticipated.

Cllr Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communication, said: “We face challenging financial constraints and we recognise that some of our residents will be affected by a reduction in services.

“We have had to make some tough decisions but we feel that we have met many of the concerns expressed in the consultation feedback by re-configuring some routes and retaining the subsidy on routes where the removal of services would have resulted in hardship.

“I want to thank all those who took the trouble to contribute to the consultation. We’d like to see residents making greater use of our buses, where practicable, so that car dependency across the borough is reduced.”