We are very concerned about the sudden and large-scale changes to bus travel across the West of England region.
First Bus, which operates many of our local bus services, has made sweeping changes from today, including reduced frequencies, removal of some stops from routes and removal of some services completely.
In South Gloucestershire, the changes include the withdrawal of the number 18, which went from Kingswood to Bath via Keynsham. It also includes the removal of the stops in Bromley Heath from the number 5 route. Bristol Post provides a good summary of the changes.
Community and climate
We are aware that bus travel has reduced over the course of the pandemic and that Government has stopped offering the grant to support commercial bus operators. However, the availability of good public transport is vital for local communities. In particular, vulnerable and elderly people are at risk of becoming more isolated without reliable transport options.
Public transport is also a vital component of addressing climate change. At a time when South Gloucestershire Council is considering a huge expansion of car capacity on the Ring Road, these cuts highlight that regional transport focus remains on car use rather than on seriously tackling the climate emergency.
In conjunction with Bristol Green Party, South Glos Greens will be contacting First Bus, the regional mayor and the local councils to express our concerns.
Do you have any comments on the latest bus changes and how they affect you? Please comment below.