Thursday, 9 April 2009

400 name petition handed to South Glos

You may have seen on ITV's West Country Tonight last night that the first stage of our bus cuts petition has been handed to South Glos Council. The petition is ongoing - if you haven't signed up yet, do it now!

The 400 name petition, calling for immediate action to restore adequate bus services for the areas affected by the First Bus cuts to the services from Yate and Chipping Sodbury through Iron Acton and Winterbourne, was presented to the Council's transport select committee by Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Hulbert. He said, "The effects of this are profound. People have contacted me saying that because of the lack of buses some people will have to move house and move away from their communities. Some people will have to give up their jobs or will have much reduced employment opportunities."

"There are elderly people who are now mobile but will be trapped because they cannot walk far enough to reach the nearest bus service."

"Many people will spend much longer every day getting to work and back. And there are hidden price rises too - even if there are some replacement services, many people will have to pay more to travel because different companies won’t accept each others’ tickets."

In just over three weeks 400 people have signed up to the Save Our Buses in South Gloucestershire petition on paper, online and on Facebook. More than 80 people have left individual messages on the petition at explaining the effects on their lives and their communities.

There is particular concern about the disappearance of the X27 service. Steve Webb MP said "Whilst South Glos has not yet committed any money, it has invited local bus companies to say what they would charge for running a service, possibly on a somewhat reduced timetable. The Council will shortly decide whether or not to fund this 'emergency' tender."

"It is therefore vital that anyone who wants to see the X27 maintained contacts the councillor in charge of transportation, Brian Allinson (, as a matter of urgency to let him know how important it is that the Council finds the money."

"We do not have long to act if we want to ensure that the service continues after May 10th, so please ensure that Cllr Allinson knows how much local residents want the Council to find the resources to keep the bus on the road."

Cllr Hulbert commented, "What we need is a bus service that actually meets community needs, not just what suits First, with South Glos papering over the more obvious cracks. We will continue to collect signatures to keep up the pressure."

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