Battle for buses continues after petition calls for reinstatement of services

November 09 2016

CAMPAIGNERS worried about the effect of recent bus service changes on people in Yate and Chipping Sodbury have been told council leaders cannot automatically replace withdrawn commercial services.

CAMPAIGNERS worried about the effect of recent bus service changes on people in Yate and Chipping Sodbury have been told council leaders cannot automatically replace withdrawn commercial services.
A petition of 240 names was presented to South Gloucestershire Council after the 81 bus service was axed and the 82 service terminated at Yate.
Councillor Claire Young, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Thornbury and Yate, handed the petition to council officers and representatives of bus operator First at the council’s public transport forum.
The document urged them to work together to reinstate direct bus links to Southmead Hospital, Bristol Parkway station and the University of the West of England (UWE) that had been cut.
Mrs Young said withdrawal of the 81 service has left people living in Yate, Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell with fewer buses to Southmead and Parkway.
She said terminating the 82 at Yate meant those living in Chipping Sodbury and villages between the town and Wotton-under-Edge had no direct link at all. In addition, there were now almost no direct buses from the Yate area to UWE.
Mrs Young said: "This cut has had a real impact on people's lives, made worse by the poor reliability of the 82 bus.
"People have been telling me stories of missed appointments at Southmead and missed connections at Parkway.
“It's difficult to hold down a job or university place when you're repeatedly late.
"We fought hard to get a direct bus link to Southmead when Frenchay Hospital closed. Now we're fighting again to get that link restored."
The council said it would continue to work with the commercial sector to try and provide as comprehensive a network of bus services to the whole of the district as possible.
But it said: “It is not possible for the council to automatically replace commercial services that have been withdrawn.
“Where services are withdrawn, we will work with operators and other key stakeholders to identity and investigate possible alternatives, albeit this will need to be within available funding.”