ELDERLY residents living at Archway, on the Townstal estate at Dartmouth are pleading for a bus to be routed around nearer to their homes.

A service used to run along Townstal Crescent but this was stopped after road calming measures were put in place earlier this year.

Now according to one resident some are having to trudge up to a quarter of a mile uphill to reach the nearest bus stop on the Townstal Road.

Jean Murphy, who lives at Archway, says it was always understood that a small bus would be provided.

'We would never have moved here otherwise' she declared.

Mrs Murphy, 72, lives with husband John, 73, in the property that was recommended after they found it difficult to climb the stairs in their previous flat.

She claims that they will soon be housebound because they will be unable to walk the long distance to the bus stop.

'There is no practical reason why a bus couldn't get around the estate. We often get really big lorries up here without any problems, and the dustcart manages very well,' she insists.

Mrs Murphy said that she has heard rumours that the county council cannot afford to run an extra route.

'But when I look out of the window and see all the schoolchildren getting soaked to the skin on the way to school I think that the bus is a necessity.

'We are soon to get a wonderful new community hall on the estate, but we won't be able to use it because we cannot get there.'

Town councillor, Robert Hannaford, said he was going to organise a petition to help the residents get their buses.

'Re-routing of buses should enable the bus company to send buses around the Archway estate.

'This would do much to improve the quality of life for the residents' he commented.

The problem is due to be discussed shortly by bus company, First Western National, which operates on the route, and South Hams and Devon County councils.

Spokesman, Tim Wastling, divisional director for the company, said that Archway had always been a problem area for buses because it was badly planned.

'It is a long cul-de-sac, and no thought was given for public transport' he claimed.

The company is due to meet with representatives of both councils to discuss the removal of the bus service from Townstal Crescent after the traffic calming.