Bus changes set to be discussed at Area Forum

Wessex Connect bus services, Bristol

Town Councillors have urged residents concerned by proposed changes to bus services in Bradley Stoke to attend tonight’s Southern Brooks Area Forum meeting in Filton.

Residents attending last week’s Town Council Planning Committee meeting were advised that the changes were a commercial decision by the operator, Wessex Connect, and not South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

Protests by bus users and Journal readers have already resulted in an amendment to the originally proposed route of the new peak-hours-only U8 service that replaces the hourly 71 service from 18th September. The new U8 service will now additionally pass through the south of Bradley Stoke, enabling that area to at least maintain a link with Bristol city centre at peak times.

The recent changes can be seen by comparing the (original) version 2 and (latest) version 4 issues of the U8 timetable on the UWE website, although Cllr Keith Cranney warns that “the situation is liable to change from day to day.”

Town Councillors agreed to “write to Wessex Connect raising concerns, on behalf of the residents of Bradley Stoke, with regard to the withdrawal of bus services from the town.”

The Southern Brooks Area Forum meeting takes place tonight (Tuesday 30th) at Filton Community Association, Elm Park, Filton BS34 7PS [map], starting at 7pm.

The main business of the Area Forum meeting will be to allocate the £26,607 of capital grant funding available to voluntary organisations in the Southern Brooks area, which includes Bradley Stoke, Filton, Frenchay, Patchway, Stoke Gifford and Winterbourne, for the 2011/2012 financial year.

Organisations from Bradley Stoke that have applied for grants include Bradley Stoke Bowls Club, the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group and Bradley Stoke Community Radio Association.

Bradley Stoke Bowls Club has asked for £500 to purchase a tea trolley, six table cloths and four ‘bowls gatherers’. A new tea trolley is required because the “wheels keep falling off the old one”; bowls gatherers are said to be a “real must” because the club’s oldest member is 90 years old, while table cloths are needed to match the standards of other clubs in the area so that the Bradley Stoke bowlers are not seen as “the poor relations.”

The Scout Group is seeking £3,000 for tables, benches and an equipment trailer “to enhance activities and events.” The assessing officer at SGC recommends that £2,780 be awarded for the tables and benches, with the group being left to finance the trailer from its own funds or other sources.

Bradley Stoke Community Radio Association wants £3,000 (for a project costed at £2,920!). The money would be used to purchase a portable mixing desk and associated equipment that would enable schools and other organisations in Bradley Stoke to record radio shows in their own environment. The Area Forum has already funded the group to the tune of £5,500 in previous years, including the purchase of a studio mixing desk, so SGC officers have recommended that £1,850 be allocated for laptops, portable MP3 recorders, a gazebo, tables, chairs and a generator.

More info: Agenda for the Southern Brooks Area Forum meeting on Tuesday 30th August 2011 (SGC)

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  1. I recently wrote to Mr Kemble at South Glos Council (indeed you have quoted from my letter in your article re proposed changes to bus services in Bradley Stoke. I received a not very helpful reply from Roy Steele.

    Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Southern Brooks area Forum on Tuesday due to transport difficulties.. The new U7/U8 service fails to address many problems, not least of which is that the Service 72 finishes operating this weekend and the new service does not start until 18 September. What are we supposed to do in the interim 2 weeks? Also, how are bus users supposed to travel within Bradley Stoke during the rest of the day?

    When I had to surrender my driving licence due to sight problems I was relieved to find that I would be able to retain some kind of independence as there was some service in my area and I was getting used to adjusting my life to cope with it (I live on my own) but this is deteriorating by the day.

    Your support in this matter is much appreciated.

  2. Have been informed by one of the drivers that the 71/72 will continue to run until the new service starts. Bradley stoke radio are looking for some residents to be interviewed for radio. their email address is on the website.

  3. A source at the Wessex Connect depot in Patchway confirmed this morning that the 71 and 72 services will continue to operate until 17th September.

    He added that there are some “operational difficulties” this morning.

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