Following notification from Hedingham that they were probably going to withdraw the 87 service, Councillors Block and Judson, together with County Councillor Goggin and other Council representatives from Alresford and Wivenhoe, met with Hedingham Coaches last week. It would appear that Hedingham are making a 5 figure loss on this service and are therefore considering withdrawing the complete service. If this happened, the major effects would be on the early morning and late evening run, together wit the Sunday service, which Hedingham do by themselves.
After a deal of discussion it was agreed that there might be a solution if First and Hedingham split the service, rather than competed against each other.
Hedingham can not approach First on this, as it would breach competition law. The rest of us, however, agreed to approach First, initially to see if they were interested in this idea (they already run a shared service between Halstead and Colchester).
Failing this we are intending to meet with First to see whether or not, if Hedingham withdrew completely, that First would be willing to pick up the evening/Sunday service, as these are greatly loss making and are non subsidised – this could be a long shot. We do however intend to follow this up with First.