Hello yellow

 [Cllrs Sarah Warren and Kevin Guy with The Big Lemon Operations Manager Colin Morris at the first number 11 bus service from Bathampton this morning.]

Bath’s yellow bus service has arrived!

Three key bus routes in the city are back in operation thanks to Brighton-based bus company The Big Lemon taking over these services.

B&NES Lib Dems have welcomed the restoration of these three bus routes, which are very important for residents to access key sites across the city. Routes 11 and 12 link the Bath Bus Station to Bathampton and Haycombe Cemetery respectively and route 20 links the University of Bath with Twerton, the centre, the RUH, lower Lansdown and Weston.

These routes had been cut in October, when bus company First withdrew from their contract, and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), who let local “supported” bus contracts, did not manage to find alternative companies to cover all the affected routes.

Councillor Sarah Warren, Cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome The Big Lemon buses to Bath. Many residents absolutely rely on buses to access key services, such as education and healthcare, so it’s great news these routes have been restored. It took a lot of work behind the scenes to find a new company to take these on and I am very grateful to the staff in our public transport department.

“The number 11 bus is an absolutely vital service for children from Bathampton to get to secondary schools each day. With this service restored, they can catch the 11 from the centre of the village into town and walk on, or else change service for schools in the south of the city, without having to hang around in the dark early mornings.

B&NES Council has no direct control over privatised bus services, but the Lib Dems will continue to campaign for better buses and lobby the West of England Combined authority to restore and improve routes.”

Lansdown Councillor Lucy Hodge commented:

“The number 20 bus is an essential service, which allows employees, volunteers, visitors and patients easy access to the RUH as well as the city centre. It is also much used by students in the more affordable rental accommodation off Julian Road, for access to the University. I am very relieved that this service has been saved and congratulate B&NES Cabinet and officers on their hard work leading to this very welcome result.

“The Lib Dems have been fighting for months to save local bus services. We have said from the start that without a reliable, comprehensive and affordable bus service, people will be cut off from shops, services, leisure, employment and education.”

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse commented:

“I am delighted to hear that these bus routes are serving Bath again. So many have worked tirelessly to protect these routes and I am so glad more people will be able to get out and about as a result.

“Moving forward, it is imperative that other cancelled routes are considered too. It is vital that everyone in our local community has easy access to public transport.”