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“Bus drought” slammed by Bradley Stoke Councillors

Posted on Thursday 19th April 2012 at 5:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Cllr Rob Jones and Cllr John Ashe at a bus stop in Bradley Stoke South.

Bradley Stoke councillors are stepping up their campaign against the town’s ‘bus drought’.

The campaign is in response to next month’s (20th May) planned bus service cuts by Wessex Connect, which will leave the whole of the south of Bradley Stoke without a daytime bus service for six days of the week.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) has been asked to investigate the potential for alternative provision and Conservative councillors for Bradley Stoke South Rob Jones and John Ashe are again lobbying Council officers about the importance of finding a solution for local bus users.

And just three days after these bus services are due to end, the council is due to undergo a major constitutional upheaval as it moves from the Cabinet to a committee system of local decision-making – a change forced through by Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors last month without asking what the public thought about it first.

Conservative Councillors for Bradley Stoke South Rob Jones and John Ashe have raised concerns about what the new committee system may mean for the future of the town’s public transport network.

They said:

“Here in Bradley Stoke, we’re facing a bus drought, which is ridiculous when you consider the large number of residents who live here.”

“We have been contacted by many local residents who are concerned at the impact that Wessex Connect’s actions will have on them.”

“We are pleased that council officers are working up options to minimise the effect on our residents who depend on public transport for getting around.”

“When we hear bus companies say that they cannot make a bus service commercially viable from a town the size of Bradley Stoke to major destinations like the city centre and Cribbs Causeway, you really have to question the competence of these companies’ management.”

They added:

“A major concern we have is the potential for any solution to our town’s bus woes to become a casualty of the complex upheaval in council-decision making that’s happening at pretty much the same time as these services are due to end.”

“There’s just so much uncertainty about what the committee system means for Bradley Stoke and securing the future of our town’s bus network.”

The changes to these Wessex Connect bus services are due to take effect from Sunday 20th May. South Gloucestershire Council’s change to the committee system is due to take place at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 23rd May.

Source: Press release by the Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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