Local Lib Dems have slammed the Government as bus cuts hit the area. The changes to services came into effect on Sunday 24th April and include cuts to services across Bath and Wells.
The Lib Dems are warning that local bus operators still face difficulties from the continuing impact of the pandemic and inadequate government financial support. In March the Government announced £150 million of funding nationwide to keep local buses running through to October but this was not enough to avoid cuts to services across Bath.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has called for the Government to provide a long-term plan for bus services across the country.
Wera Hobhouse MP commented:
“Bus services across the South West have been cut again and again because the Conservatives refuse to accept the problem. The cuts to services that have come into effect will have a huge impact on the people of Bath. It is a kick in the teeth for Bath residents and the Conservatives are unwilling to get a handle on the issue. .
“The Conservatives aren’t listening. They have engineered the bus driver shortage which has made the problem much worse. Now they are providing inadequate funding. They must step up to the plate to deal with their mess.
“The Government must come up with a detailed long-term plan for bus services instead of taking a haphazard and short-term approach, leaving many residents stranded.”
Cllr Sarah Warren said:
“We need a long-term plan for buses. We can’t keep cobbling together bits of funding and timetable tweaks to keep our essential bus services on the road. The Government must put in place a long-term, sustainable funding deal for buses, including support for driver recruitment and training schemes.
“We also need to accelerate the local Bus Service Improvement Plan which will unlock a new deal for bus services. Residents rely on public transport to access shops, services, employment or education. Without reliable services, residents are forced into cars, exacerbating the cost-of-living and creating a vicious cycle as passenger numbers decline further, whilst congestion and air pollution rise.”
The full list of changes is as follows and can be accessed here.
Service 1 – due to low passenger demand, some daily journeys will be withdrawn and Sunday frequency will reduce from every 30 minutes to every 40 minutes.
Service 2 – Some morning journeys will change as a result of low passenger numbers. Monday to Friday frequency will reduce from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes (off peak only). Peak journeys will remain every 20 minutes. Saturday frequency will reduce from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes. Due to low passenger demand, some daily journeys will be withdrawn.
Services 3 and 3a – Service 3a will be withdrawn Monday to Friday but Service 3 will serve Elmhurst estate during Monday to Friday daytime to replace these current Service 3a journeys. Due to the withdrawal of the 3a service, Service 3 will increase to every 20 minutes Monday to Friday. Due to low passenger demand, some daily journeys will be withdrawn
Service 19 – due to low passenger demand, the first journey, Monday to Friday to Downend will be withdrawn. The first Monday to Friday journey operated from 24 April will be extended between Kingswood and Downend. Cherry Gardens will be added as a timing point so customers have more visibility when planning connections between services 19 and 45.
Service 5 – due to low passenger demand, some daily journeys will be withdrawn
Service 39/X39 – the first 3 journeys will now depart from ‘The Globe’. Due to low passenger demand, some daily journeys will be withdrawn
Services 22, U1, U2 and U5 – revised University timetables will be introduced for the spring/summer period.
Service D2 – a small timetable amendment on Monday to Friday will be implemented for school movements. Due to low passenger demand, some Saturday morning journeys will be withdrawn
Services not listed above are unchanged.
From 24 April the following changes will take effect in Wells: –
Service 126 – a revised route will be introduced in Weston-super-Mare, with journeys starting and terminating at the new bus interchange and not travelling down to Marine Parade. Saturday frequency will increase from every 120 minutes to every 60 minutes, whilst some journeys will be withdrawn due to low passenger demand.
A further change will take place in July 2022, when the Sunday timetable will be reinstated. The frequency will be every 60 minutes over the summer holidays.
Services not listed above are unchanged.