A section of a ‘vital’ Bristol bus service that was about to be axed, leaving potentially hundreds of residents cut off and struggling to access the nearest hospital, has been saved.
In sweeping cuts that saw more than 20 of the city’s bus services changed or withdrawn due to dwindling passenger numbers, First Bus announced last week that Service 92 would no longer serve parts of Whitchurch including Windways.
It sparked outrage from local residents and councillors, who launched a petition to keep the original route which attracted almost 300 signatures.
Now Metro Mayor Dan Norris has stepped in to save it, announcing this afternoon (Friday, March 25) that he had pinned down an alternative provider for the route.
From April 24 to August August 27, CT Plus will operate a service between Hengrove Park and Broad Walk shops while discussions are held on a longer-term solution.
The scrapping of parts of the 92 service had been a particular concern for Mr Norris, he said, as elderly passengers used the route to travel to South Bristol Community Hospital.
Speaking today, one of the councillors, Andrew Brown, whose ward is Hengrove and Whitchurch Park, said he was delighted with the news.
“We welcome news that an alternative operator has been found for this service which will support residents who wish to travel between the areas which would have been impacted.
“The feedback we had from people in the community over the proposal showed it was clear that the service was valued and any plan to cut it was unacceptable.
“We will now work to ensure the service continues for residents.”
Mr Norris said: “I’m pleased to support a service that’s so important for people living in Whitchurch and its surrounding areas especially to access the hospital.
“I will always step in to try and save under-threat buses where I can, but sadly there is no unlimited pot of money.
“There are other routes that are being axed or reduced that matter very much to their communities too.
It is understood that Service 93, from Bristol City Centre to Hengrove, is still set to be withdrawn as part of First Bus’s overhaul.