Kingswood residents slam ‘bonkers’ cuts to First bus services 6, 7 and 43 in Bristol

‘We have become the abandoned neighbourhood’

One of the many Bristol communities hit by a wave of bus service cuts have slammed the changes as ‘bonkers’, with some residents concerned that their jobs will be affected with early morning journeys set to be axed.

Services running through Kingswood are some of many routes being overhauled by First Bus, which says it is struggling to keep certain services afloat due to a shortage of drivers and dwindling passenger numbers.

Under the plans, some journeys during the early morning and weekends on Services 6 and 7 from Bristol City Centre to Kingswood/Staple Hill will be withdrawn due to ‘low customer demand’.

This will also be the case for Services 42 and 43, which run through or near Kingswood from Bristol Centre to Bitton and Bristol City Centre to Cadbury Heath respectively.

But despite First Bus’s claims that demand for the services is diminishing, residents have insisted that they are often ‘rammed’ with people making their way to and from central Bristol.

Tish Mantripp said: “I’ve been getting a mixture of 42, 43, 7 and 6 to and from work this last month mainly around midday to late at night and the buses are always packed, so why on earth would you think of cutting the amount of buses on all four routes?

“It’s going to have a massive impact. I do own a car but the cost of petrol and parking is so high it worked out cheaper and more economical to get the bus as I was working six days a week.

“If the timetable is massively disrupted I will have to stop working in town and look for work closer to Kingswood or out of town where I could drive and park easily. In a time of finance struggle for all the community this is bonkers.”

Nick Byrne said: “Reducing even more Kingswood service? Completely unacceptable! We have become the abandoned neighborhood.”

Marion Johnson said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous altering the busses , the 42 and 43 are always packed. And as for the 6 and 7 we need these busses at least every 30 minutes.”

And Warren Liddington said the low demand could be down to an unreliable service.

He said: “If they operated on time, and any information for delays or cancellations were shared immediately, people would be able to use and plan.

“Currently buses just don’t show, people are left on stops, missing important schedules.”

A grand total of 25 bus services across Bristol are set to be affected by the timetable changes and service cuts, which will come into effect from April 24.

Metro mayor of the West of England Combined Authority, Dan Norris, said that WECA had been trying to secure funding but that the government had ‘left it too late’.

It comes at a time when Bristolians are being urged to step out of their cars and use public transport as an alternative method of transport, especially with the city’s Clean Air Zone expected to launch in September.