A RESIDENT has expressed her anger after changes to a bus service left her struggling – but the good news is that help is on the way.

Maureen Wootton, who suffers with arthritis in her knees, uses a set of crutches to walk short distances but has been literally left in the cold after recent changes to the Basingstoke bus network.

The 60-year-old, of Munnings Close, Black Dam, now has to wait for her bus service on a grass verge on the opposite side of Black Dam Way.

As previously reported in The Gazette, operator Stagecoach introduced a shake-up to the bus routes across the borough on February 16.

Black Dam is now served by the Jazz 12 service which operates an hourly service Monday to Saturday and travels through Brighton Hill and Hatch Warren. Before the changes, the area was served by the Jazz 10 hourly service.

Ms Wootton told The Gazette: “The first day, (February 16) I didn’t go out at all because my son said ‘you will slip and fall’. When it rains, my crutches go in about an inch into the ground and if it is really raining, I am scared to walk across the mud.”

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment for Hampshire County Council, said: “I’m pleased that we were able to step in at short notice to fund an additional route, the number 12, to replace a commercial service withdrawn by the bus operator.

“As well as the extra money to support the new service, we’ve agreed to put down a hard surface to help passengers and we have let Stagecoach know that we’ll be able to do this once the ground conditions allow the work to be done.”