A team of elderly ladies have decided to take matters into their own hands after learning that their bus will no longer take them into Mitcham town centre.

The women have gathered hundreds of signatures on petitions around Mitcham and written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, whose father used to drive a bus they caught.

Due to work on the centre as part of the Rediscover Mitcham Project, from Saturday, August 13, the number 200 bus will begin terminating in Lower Green West, rather than continuing to Raleigh Gardens.

The bus will now terminate in Lower Green West (marker A) rather than Raleigh Gardens (marker B)

This means, rather than a walk of approximately 0.1 miles, travellers on the 200 bus will be made to walk half a mile in order to reach Mitcham town centre until the work is completed in February 2017.

And for the elderly residents of Phipps Bridge, where the only bus they can get is the 200, this long walk means the town centre may soon be out of reach.

Elizabeth Buchanan, 71, of Park View Drive, began a petition against the early route termination which has so far received over 530 signatures.

Ms Buchanan said: “People kept saying we should do something but no one was, so I thought I probably should.

“What are elderly people supposed to do? We go into Mitcham every day, and we all meet in the Tag Elezz Café. Everybody is saying hello to each other, we sit with about 20 others and have a cup of tea.

“It gets us out, but now people won’t be able to make the trip. It’s somewhere that a lot of older people will go out for an hour or two. It’s a life line and we don’t want to lose it.”

She added: “There’s no shelter at the bus stop or anything. If you have to walk all that way with your shopping and then stand there waiting for a bus in the rain, it’s ridiculous.”

Yvonne Swan, 80, of Rock Close, said she knew the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s father when he used to drive her bus, and she has personally written to Mr Khan – who she says she knew “when he was little” - to tell him about her concerns.

Ms Swan said: “People are going to have to walk all that way, sometimes with heavy shopping. That walk is going to do them in.

Wimbledon Times:

The bus will now terminate in front of the old fire station

“They are up in arms. All the stall holders will be suffering for it too because people will just go to Colliers Wood or Wimbledon instead where they can get a bus more easily.”

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL), said: “This is a temporary change because of work in Mitcham town centre.

“Merton council is doing the work. While they are doing the work, we can’t run buses on some routes.”

A spokeswoman for Merton Council said the decision about bus routes were entirely down to TfL, who had undertaken a consultation with residents.

Felicity Connolly, 63, also of Rock Close, said: “There’s been no consultation for residents. We have had nothing through our doors. The first we heard about it was when signs when up about three weeks ago and they don’t tell you anything.

“The only bus being affected is the 200. None of the others are being changed. It serves the whole of Phipps Bridge and there are a lot of older people and kids here.”

She added: “The tragic thing is, it’s taken a 70-year-old and an 80-year-old to do it all. It’s really going to affect them. Considering the age of these ladies, they have got out and petitioned because they are so concerned about what’s happening. It’s amazing.”

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