First Bus has announced yet another cut to an important bus service. This time the No. 82 service from Southmead Hospital via Cribbs Causeway to Yate will lose its last journey. From 8 January the last bus will leave Southmead at 7.15 pm from Monday to Friday, almost an hour earlier and well before the end of visiting time.
This impacts people who work at Cribbs causeway too, not to mention shift workers boarding at other points along the route, and anybody who attends SGS Filton College in the evening. It makes it very hard for young people and those on minimum wage who work at the Mall, for example - their last bus will now be 7.30 pm instead of 8.24 pm.
If you use this service, please contact First and ask for the later journey to be brought back.
As for public consultation, what public consultation? South Glos Council's website doesn't even mention the early finish - it just says "Service 82 – First Bus (Southmead Hospital – Cribbs Causeway – Yate) timetable amended to improve punctuality but frequency remain the same across all days of operation, no change to route"
What's more they haven't even written to local councils (not to ours, anyway) to give notice of the changes so that we can object. South Glos Council doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it either - government cuts mean that they haven't got the money to subsidise routes or journeys that bus companies decide they don't want to run.
Flashback - it was only in August that First reduced the service frequency between Yate and Southmead, chopped the Chipping Sodbury link to Southmead and got rid of most of the services to UWE, as we reported here
Did we mention that First Bus is one of the contenders to run the MetroBus system? As and when this gets to Yate with a splendid new service, how long will it be before they begin to stop journeys that they see as inconvenient? Based on their record of cutting services in the Yate area, are they really fit to be bidding for MetroBus?