Council steps in to keep some buses running
PEOPLE living in Bradley Stoke will still have a bus service to and from Bristol, thanks to a council bail-out.
As previously reported, Wessex Connect had announced that it was cutting several routes for financial reasons, from May 20.
This triggered complaints by residents and local councillors who feared it would have left the whole of the south of the town without a day-time bus service, six days of the week.
But after appeals from local South Gloucestershire Conservative councillors, an alternative plan has been agreed following a meeting between the council's Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) and bus operators in the area.
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A new commercial replacement service is expected to be in place at the beginning of September and, in the meantime, it has been agreed that an interim arrangement with Wessex Connect can be funded by South Gloucestershire Council to keep the U7 (UWE-Aztec West) and U8 (Bradley Stoke-City Centre) services running with some changes.
The changes include:
â The U8 will be slightly reduced from five morning peak journeys to four with the first two journeys having the timing amended;
â The later return journey at 6.15pm will not operate as the ITU advises that this service carries the least number of passengers to Bradley Stoke;
â The U7a will not operate as the ITU advises that this duplicates a number of journeys that Wessex currently provides on private contracts with employers in the area;
â The U7 will operate an amended route (MoD Abbeywood will now only be served during peak times) with seven journeys during the off-peak period giving local access to facilities, Monday to Friday.
Conservative councillors for Bradley Stoke South, Rob Jones and John Ashe, who have been campaigning for a solution for alarmed local bus users, said: "Although this interim arrangement will still mean changes to the U7 and U8 services, we welcome the relief this brings to the bus drought that our town had been facing.
"We have been contacted by many local residents who had been concerned at the impact that Wessex Connect's withdrawal of these services would have had on them and we would like to thank the council officers in the ITU who have been working on ways to minimise this impact.
"We will keep on pushing for a more comprehensive commercially operated bus network for all of Bradley Stoke because a community of our size really needs it."
The authority's ITU is now making arrangements with Wessex Connect to have the new service advertised on their vehicles.
The ITU will produce timetables for the public once it has finalised the details next week, which will be posted on the council's website and will also be made available for posting on Bradley Stoke Town Council's website.