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Winners and losers in book bus shake-up
9:00am Sunday 23rd September 2012 in News
BOOKWORM bus stops are set to be axed as part of a mobile library shakeup – while other areas will see services increased.
County Council bosses say 29 bus services face the chop across Hampshire because they are unused or have fewer than two regular customers.
From October 22 the monthly visits Puddle Green in Bartley near Copythorne will be a thing of the past.
The visit to Brook Corner near Bramshaw will also be dropped after the launch of a home library service, where volunteers will drop round books.
Brashshaw parish council vice chairman Sue Bennison said: “I think I would be very concerned if the library service as a whole was being withdrawn because it is used by a lot of local people who are unable to get into Totton where the library is because there is no public transport from Bramshaw.
“This would be another case of a rural community cut off from facilities.”
Of the 39 under-used stops, it is proposed that 29, including Eastleigh, New Forest, Test Valley and Winchester areas are withdrawn.
But while there are losers other communities are set to see services stepped up.
Following research into usage and customer feedback fortnightly visits at Church Road in King’s Somborne and the village hall in Broughton replace monthly ones. And a decision on increasing stopping time at the school stop in Longparish and Shipton Bellinger village centre will be made next Thursday, September 27, at the decision day of Culture and Recreation boss, Councillor Keith Chapman.
He said: “A new, improved, and streamlined mobile library service was launched last summer as it had not been extensively reviewed in over two decades.
“We said that we would review the service one year on, and the feedback collected this summer has been an important part of work that aims to help shape a mobile library service that better meets the needs of Hampshire residents.
“As a result, there are now a number of options that will be considered that aim to redirect resources from those stops that were hardly ever used, so that they are put to better use, and help support those more popular stops.”