Better bus services needed

Published on: 02 Jun 2014

A PETITION calling for a bus service to link Staple Hill to the new hospital at Southmead is continuing to gather strength.

The closure of Frenchay Hospital last month has left people from the area struggling to access services at Southmead.

People without cars are having to catch two buses and many of the journeys also include walking considerable distances.

Staple Hill Labour councillors Shirley Potts and Ian Boulton say people, particularly the elderly, are being left isolated because there is no direct service.

In response they have launched a petition calling on South Gloucestershire Council to consider subsidising a service.

It follows talks with bus provider First whose managing director Paul Mathews has stated: “Legislation provides that where services are unable to be provided commercially, then the local authority has the powers and abilities to consider whether there is a social need for such a service”. 

Cllr Potts said: “It’s too much for some people, especially the elderly and the ill, to walk to Emersons Green or Downend to catch a direct bus. If they catch two buses, it costs them the earth.

“Staple Hill ward has the lowest ratio of car ownership in South Gloucestershire - these are the people who need a direct service the most.”

Cllr Ian Boulton said: “If I use the route recommended by the Travelwest Journey Planner, the journey to Southmead Hospital from my home would involve 25 minutes of walking and a change of bus, and I live on a busy bus route in Staple Hill! 

“With the current state of affairs it is practically impossible for the ill or infirm, or their visitors, to get to our Regional Acute Hospital. I recommend everyone to use www.travelwest.info to find out how they would manage to get to our hospital if they needed to rely on public transport and then to sign our petition.”

You can find the petition at www.petitions.southglos.gov.uk/petitions.ti

It is also on display in various locations throughout Staple Hill including the library, the British Legion, Sheen Studios and Blue Sky Cafe.

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