Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cuts to bus services are unacceptable

Early morning services and the city’s circular route are to be cut from the bus timetable at the beginning of May as First Bus reduces the service they are providing.

Early services from Combe Down, Foxhill and Larkhall are being lost. The biggest impact will, however, come from the complete removal of the 20A/C service, which stops at Ralph Allen School, the University of Bath and the RUH.

Bath MP Don Foster said that the cuts are unacceptable and will be meeting with First Bus Managing Director Justin Davies to discuss the plans.

Don said, “Many people rely on early morning buses to get to work, what option will be available to them now? Local buses need to be able to serve the needs of residents, not force them into their car.

“The loss of the 20A/C route will be a massive blow. Many students use it to get to the university and it provides a direct link for residents across the city to our local hospital. The Council must look at finding another operator for this route.”

Please sign our petition, at , calling for these services to be re-instated.

The 20A/C service takes a lot of pupils to Ralph Allen School in the morning. We already know how bad the morning rush hour is in term time, and this cut will only make things worse. Had the Conservative Council agreed to Lib Dem plans to get more children on a bus to school then perhaps the effect on the morning rush hour would not be so bad, as it is this decision will inevitably lead to further gridlock.

The Council is happy to waste millions of pounds on a new road to provide a bus for those who don’t live here to get into the city, but local people are having their services cut and many cannot afford to use the bus. The Council would be better off spending money on providing buses for local people, which would be common sense action to reduce congestion.”

The Local Transport Bill was recently voted through in Parliament, which offers local Councils greater power over bus services, including the possibility of setting maximum fares and having minimum timetable requirements.

Bath MP Don Foster voted for the legislation and says, “As we see services cut this shows that the powers granted by the Local Transport Bill are now more important than ever. I hope our Conservative Council will look into using this new legislation, despite the fact that Tory MPs voted against these important measures.”