Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has arranged a meeting with First Bus to discuss alterations to the routes of two local services.
As part of their wider campaign to save city buses, the MP, backed by local ward councillors, is campaigning to change the route of the 6 and 7 buses.
The route currently connects Fairfield Park and Camden to the train station and bus station where people make connections, but the proposed change will see it cut short at the Guildhall. This will be an inconvenience to many and for some it will mean they miss their connections or will have to make the extra walk. There are particular concerns about the effect on disabled people and those who suffer with reduced mobility.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse and Walcot Ward Councillors Richard Samuel and Tom Davies have voiced their concerns over its impact on those with less mobility. Additionally, students at Beechen Cliff School are missing their connection at the bus station. Both councillors have written to the Managing Director of First Bus.
Cuts and services to buses in Bath have effectively been imposed by the Government who have not provided enough funding for bus companies badly hit by the pandemic. Services are facing a further hit in April.
Local MP Wera Hobhouse has arranged another meeting with First Bus to discuss the 6 and 7 buses specifically.
Commenting, Wera Hobhouse MP said:
“Residents are rightly concerned about the changes to the 6 and 7 buses and how this might impact people who are less mobile. It’s also having an impact on school children. I know First Bus is struggling and that the Government is refusing to engage in any solutions but at the end of the day we need to stick up for the best interests of residents in Bath. I’ve raised this with First Bus and have set up a meeting at the beginning of February. I will continue to lobby the Government for adequate funding for Bath’s bus services but so far they have refused to engage.”
Both Ward Councillors, Cllr Richard Samuel and Cllr Tom Davies, have written to First Bus to raise the concerns of residents.
Cllr Richard Samuel, whose ward the stops fall in, said that he has been stopped in the street about the change:
“People have stopped me in the street to raise this issue with me. It has made journeys considerably more difficult for some residents, especially those who are less mobile. We will be raising this issue with First Bus again and continue our campaign to save Bath’s buses.”
Cllr Tom Davies who has also been campaigning against the cuts, said:
“I share the concerns of residents who have pointed out that the proposal disconnects the service from our part of the north of the city and the principal transport connections within the city.”
Eddie Gore, a Bath resident, is concerned as his wife has a lung condition and uses the 6 and 7 bus services to get to the station, and the train station.
“She relies on this service as she needs to get to Widcombe to see the doctors, and to the Royal United Hospital as the Mineral Water Hospital has moved there. We are told that we shouldn’t bring our cars into the centre and should use the bus service more to keep the air in our city clean.”