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More anger over cuts to First Bus services in Bridgwater
11:52am Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
A BUS user from Bridgwater has said more First Bus cuts will leave the town without a service to the new hospital on a Sunday.
First Bus already announced a number of cuts affecting Services 1, 2 and 3 in the town, from last July.
The firm has now revealed further cuts to its First West of England Services 375/X75, Bridgwater to Wells, withdrawing journeys on Sundays and public holidays from February 2.
Bus user Michael Carpenter told the Mercury: “The 375 runs up Eastern Avenue and Bower Lane to the new hospital site. If this goes ahead, there will be no bus service from that part of town to the hospital on Sundays.
“The closest you could get is to the bus station then a 45-minute walk to the hospital, and you can't expect the elderly and frail to be doing that.
“You would think a bus service to the hospital would take priority.”
Simon Ford, commercial manager for First in West of England, said: “The timetable is being amended to offer customers a better, more punctual and reliable service, along with faster and more direct services between Wells and Bridgwater at certain times.”
But the changes mean the total number of journeys serving Catcott and Cossington will be reduced.
The Service X75 will operate hourly, Monday to Friday, with more journeys at peak times serving Bridgwater College. Service 375 will operate every two hours, Monday to Friday, with buses serving Lippetts Way in Catcott instead of King William Road and Manor Road.
On Saturdays all journeys between Wells and Bridgwater will operate as Service X75.
Mr Ford added: “This change provides a fast and direct link between the two places, and better reflects the fact that most people wish to travel to these destinations. As a result, Catcott and Cossington will lose access to the service on this day.
“Journeys on Sundays and Public Holidays are being withdrawn. This reflects the low overall use of them and follows a period in which First has operated the journeys on a completely commercial basis, following the loss of local authority support some years ago. Put simply, the company is no longer able to financially sustain the journeys.”
For more information visit www.firstgroup.com/bristol.
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