MORE than 300 people have told council bosses: Save our bus service.
Hundreds of Cuddington and Sandiway residents have signed a petition organised by a 81-year-old passenger Joan Warwick who is leading the campaign to save the hourly 82 service between Northwich and Chester.
Residents fear they will be cut off if the service is axed, after operator Arriva announced it was no longer viable. But council bosses who have put out a tender say it is not at risk and that they are trying to find an alternative operator.
Mrs Warwick told the Chronicle: 'I have been delighted by how many people have signed the petition so quickly - people are very worried about losing the service.'
Arriva says the service is underused, but Mrs Warwick said: 'From my experience I cannot understand the explanation that not many people use the service - I have experienced standing room only on occasions.
'Not only is it our village that is going to be hit, it's people in other villages on the route such as Oakmere and Kelsall. Older people will feel very isolated without it.'
Cuddington & Sandiway borough Cllr Val Godfrey said: 'It's brilliant that Mrs Warwick has organised the petition and I only hope it makes a difference. The service is a lifeline for the villages between Chester and Northwich and it would be awful if it just disappeared.
'Cuddington may have a railway station but there's no way people from large parts of the village can get to it without using a bus in the first place. The other bus service, the 62 to Delamere Park and Northwich, doesn't take in the major centre of population, either.'
A spokesman for Cheshire County Council said: 'All will become clearer from February 6 when tenders from potential operators are due and the county council will appoint a new operator on the route.'
Arriva's Derek Bowes said: 'Passenger numbers on the 82 have been dropping significantly over recent years.
'It has now reached the level where the service can no longer operate commercially.'