Residents throughout South Gloucestershire have been facing difficulty following recent changes to a number of key bus services in our towns and villages. First Bus have recently made significant alterations to bus timetables in our area, which have included the loss of vital services in areas including Thornbury, Iron Acton, Frampton Cotterell and Shortwood. Having continued to raise the community’s concerns, and having campaigned for funding to be directed to South Gloucestershire’s public transport network, Luke Hall MP has now met with First Bus, ensuring our concerns are firmly on the agenda.
With a review of bus timetables and routes expected in April next year, Luke met with the Managing Director of First Bus, Doug Claringbold, and Councillor Steve Reade, who is the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure at South Gloucestershire Council, to discuss the current bus network in the Thornbury and Yate constituency and raised concerns from local residents.
Luke presented to First Bus the key priorities for residents and commuters in our area, including the need for Y1 to stop directly in the new Park and Ride; for the T2 bus service to be restored (particularly for access to local colleges and Cribbs Causeway); for the Y2 connection between Frampton Cotterell and Downend to be reviewed so residents can access health services and schools; and for a bus service to be reinstated along Thornbury High Street as quickly as possible.
Alongside Councillor Reade, who is also the District Councillor for Boyd Valley, Luke also spoke with First Bus about the community’s request for the 47 bus service to serve the village of Shortwood, as well as Pucklechurch.
With Luke’s meeting taking place in the village of Shortwood, the MP demonstrated to First Bus the clear demand for this service, and presented the community’s strongly supported petition.
Luke Hall MP said: “First Bus have given their commitment to working with us to assess these key issues for our area and as our local MP, I will continue to work on this critical part of our Positive Plan for Transport.”
“Over the coming weeks, I will be feeding back to First Bus residents’ comments about their local services and will in particular be asking for First Bus to reconsider the demand for key services, particularly for our rural villages such as Shortwood and Iron Acton.” The MP’s meeting coincides with the Government’s wider bus service strategy, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes and new flexible services to reconnect communities.
Backed by £3 billion, this strategy will deliver better, more reliable bus services for passengers, strengthening communities and sustaining town centres across the country.