AS the closure of the free Asda bus service looms large, confusion surrounds the reason why it is being axed.

After writing a letter of complaint to the supermarket's head office, a Falmouth pensioner received their response, which bizarrely stated that it was the Bodmin-based bus company Group Travel which has cut the service.

"I was amazed when I read the letter which said that it was a decision by a third party company and that Asda would not be able to make any amendments to the service," said Pamela McKnight, of Castle Drive.

"There's a lot of us that have been using it for years, so I find it hard to believe that it's being stopped because of a lack of demand," she added.

In a story which appeared in the Falmouth Packet on Wednesday, May 23, an Asda spokesman said that "consistent low use" of the service had resulted in them stopping it from July 9.

However, a letter sent to Mrs McKnight from a member of Asda's services team, dated May 22, said: "I can advise that the decision has been made by the bus company and not Asda.

"They have advised us that this is due to a lack of customers using the service. Unfortunately, as the bus service is a third party company, we wouldn't be able to make amendments to the service."

The Packet this week contacted Asda for a second time to seek clarity and a spokeswoman described the issuing of the letter as "very unfortunate".

She confirmed that it was the supermarket's decision to stop the daily service, which picks up customers from Falmouth every day and also from outlying villages.

She added that she had taken several phone calls from concerned customers and that Asda could potentially reconsider if the use shows a significant increase in the next month.

The free service for students, which visits Penryn campus in the evenings, will continue to run.