Posted: 10.12.18 at 12:59 by The Editor
The county council and Stagecoach will be hosting two events at Sainsbury's in Dursley on the 15th August and at King Street in Stroud on the 22nd August between 5pm and 7pm to talk to local people and let them know about the changes that may affect them.
The county council has been looking at the best way to safeguard services for those who are most in need of public transport to access work, healthcare appointments and education, and will be making changes to start in September.
Currently, the council subsidises bus services in the two areas by £600,000 every year, with some routes in Stroud having a subsidy of over £30 per person per passenger return trip, far above the £8 agreed subsidy cap for rural services. In Dursley, there are routes with subsidies of over £13, which is also well above the cap.
In Stroud, the current services 28 and 29 will be merged to become a new Stagecoach operated service, the 69, Monday - Saturday. Although the service will run less often, it will continue to serve the majority of the communities along the routes. The new service will also extend from Tetbury to Westonbirt, Hare & Hounds on five journeys a day. Stops that will no longer be covered and their alternative transport are:
The Bear Inn - Community ConnexionsAmberley - Community ConnexionsGeorge Pearce House in Minchinhampton - Community ConnexionsGeneral Hospital - service 8/8a8bCowle and Highfield Road - service 8a and close to other regular services as wellDue to a lack of use, services 261, 263, 264 and 267 are being withdrawn.
Some communities will be served on existing routes.
Communities not served will be able to access a new pre-bookable shopper service operated by Community Connexions, running to Nailsworth on Tuesdays and to Stroud on Thursdays. Concessionary bus passes will be valid on these shopper services.
In Dursley, service 207 was initially proposed to be withdrawn. However, after officers revisited the service, it was decided that the service should continue at peak times Monday - Friday, catering for school/college travel, and people commuting to and from work in Thornbury. This service will continue to be provided by Mikes Travel.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure,
said: "We realise that changing services may upset people, which is why we have been working with local people and groups to try and provide services for those most in need.
"We are putting on events in Stroud and Dursley to try and share the information about the changes and I would recommend anyone who has any concerns to come along to one of the roadshows."
Rupert Cox, managing director at Stagecoach West, said: "We have worked closely with Gloucestershire County Council to both develop commercial services and improve supported services during the past 12 months.
"These forthcoming changes will see us run more buses in the local area by improving the frequency of links from Dursley to Berkeley, Bristol, Gloucester, Stroud and Thornbury."
Paul Riddick, chief executive officer of Community Connexions, said: "With the help of our drivers, many of whom are volunteers, we provide transport services across the county for some of the most vulnerable members of society.
"We are delighted that we're going to be able to help even more people attend vital hospital and doctor appointments, visit relatives, get essential shopping and engage with their local communities."
For a full list of changes, please visit www.thinktravel.info.