SOUTHERN Vectis buses will not run through Thorley, Wellow or Newbridge for nearly five weeks, sparking fury from residents of the rural villages.

Southern Water is currently working to replace a water main in Station Road in Ningwood.

A spokesperson from Island Roads told the County Press that smaller vehicles can pass the site, but larger vehicles, such as buses, cannot and are therefore being diverted.

The Route 7 buses between Calbourne and Yarmouth have been diverted via Calbourne Road and Wilmingham Lane in both directions, skipping Newbridge, Wellow and Thorley until the works are completed on July 25.

A spokesperson from Southern Vectis said the operations team were only informed by Island Roads on Tuesday evening (June 21), with the closure coming into force from 9am the next day (Wednesday, June 22).

The closure means the nearest stops are at Wilmingham Lane for Thorley and Wellow and Calbourne Cross for Newbridge.

Wilmingham Lane has no pavement, and the bus stops in both directions can be found in overgrown hedges.

How bus diversions will affect locals in West Wight villages

That is not good enough for Deborah Wagstaff, whose neighbour’s children cannot get to school, and her 77-year-old dad Norman, who lives in Thorley, will have to travel 1.6 miles to the bus stop or potentially face isolation until the end of July.

Deborah told the County Press: “It is inconceivable that my dad, with his walking stick and poor mobility, should have to walk 1.6 miles to the busy country road to wait in a hedge to catch a bus.

“This decision-making by Island Roads is slapdash without even considering the elderly residents and schoolchildren for five weeks. It’s a joke.

“Perhaps Island Roads would like to pay my fuel bill to take my dad by car to Yarmouth to catch a bus and return journey every day for the next five weeks?”

Island Roads' response as roads impassable in West Wight villages

A spokesperson from Island Roads said: “While it is for the bus company to plan its diversion routes, we have been liaising with Southern Vectis and Southern Water’s contractors to look at local solutions, particularly to school bus transport.

“These talks are ongoing, but our understanding is that Southern Water contractors have agreed to fund an alternative bus for schoolchildren.

“The works are due to finish on July 25, and we will continue both to monitor progress and to work with partners to address any transport issues that arise.”