'Absolutely viable' route saved for 'trapped' residents

PUBLISHED: 09:08 26 August 2014

Thomas and Nancy Hodge who have collected  more then 200 signatures to reinstate the  number five bus.

Thomas and Nancy Hodge who have collected more then 200 signatures to reinstate the number five bus.

Archant

FEARS about the loss of a Sunday bus route in Weston may be allayed with the introduction of a new service.

As featured in the Mercury last week, a petition was started by concerned residents worried they would be ‘trapped’ when First West of England’s number five bus, currently operating from Sainsbury’s in Worle to Weston General Hospital, is scrapped at the end of the month.

Crosville Motor Services already run a rival 105 service, which has transferred custom away from First’s route, and has announced this week it will introduce a Sunday timetable to replace First’s outgoing bus.

Its managing director Jonathan Jones-Pratt is pleased with the support it has received from Weston commuters, and said the firm saw the route as an ‘absolutely viable service’.

He said: “The Sunday service is coming into effect from August 31, we realise there was some worry that it would be lost but we were determined to see it continue.

“We have challenged a couple of the First routes in Weston and we are pleased that the support has been given to the 105 because it has helped to achieve the growth from nothing. It is an absolutely viable service and we wanted to maintain what customers had before, which is why we have taken on the Sunday service.”

Thomas Hodge, aged 80, who started the petition with his wife Nancy, said he was pleased to see the Sunday service saved but remains worried by a lack of evening services in the town.

He said: “We will definitely be using the Sunday bus and it’s good to see it stay, a lot of people who have signed the petition would have been cut off otherwise.

“There is nothing out there after the early evening as it stands though, and if you were to go to the theatre or something in Weston there is nothing to get you back. We live on Upper Bristol Road and getting the seven isn’t an option. It’s fine walking down to Milton Road, but not getting back up the hill.”

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