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Bus cuts threaten community connections and climate goals

Bus stop sign against background of sky.

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.

2 thoughts on “Bus cuts threaten community connections and climate goals

  1. Re: Changes to Number 5 Bus Route.

    Withdrawal of this service through Bromley Heath means residents are without a local bus service. Citing low customer demand is not a realistic defence given that few people have used bus services during the pandemic so First have no recent evidence to support usage post the pandemic.
    Why were local residents not made aware of proposed changes to the number 5 bus route?
    Why are there no notices of bus service withdrawal from 29 August at the bus stops?
    Why has the number 5 been re-routed along the Ring Road for the past few weeks?
    Were WECA, SGlos and the Traffic Commissioners aware of the planned cuts beforehand and if so why did they not notify the local Parish Council?

  2. The 18 is a really handy bus and always packed. I always use it to get to Bath from Warmley. It’s not very frequent. But is really the only way from Warmley to Bath without a car.

    To think, for 100 years Warmley had a railway station that took you into the centre of Bath, and it looks like we might not even have one bus soon! Bath is the closest town to Warmley too. Yeesh.

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