Losing Crosville bus service ‘lifeline’ to town centre will ‘harm people’s health’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 March 2018

Crosville and First Bus vehicles in the town centre.

Crosville and First Bus vehicles in the town centre.

Archant

Fears have been raised elderly people could be left isolated when a Weston-super-Mare bus service is axed.

South Road bus stop. Picture: GoogleSouth Road bus stop. Picture: Google

Crosville Motor Service announced last week it was scrapping its bus and school transport routes across Weston.

This includes the 106 service, which visits South Road in the Shrubbery.

The service, which is supported by North Somerset Council will end on April 21.

Concerns have been raised on the impact this will have on people living in the Shrubbery, who face tricky routes into the centre of town.

MORE: Crosville sorry as it axes Weston route.

Bridie Collier, chairman of the Shrubbery Neighbourhood Group which has been researching bus options, said in a report: “The bus service through the Shrubbery is a life-line for the people (many elderly, disabled or with young children) living in our particularly hilly area who have been used to regular trips into town for business, shopping and to socialise.

“Without this service, they either have to restrict their outings as they have to pay for taxis, or resort to use of their private cars.

“This severely limits people’s lives and increases social isolation with an associated impact on health.”

The report outlines how people walking to town would have to negotiate either steep hills or 50 steps to the bus stop in Upper Church Road.

Hillside councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: “Mark Canniford and I are particularly concerned how this lack of public transport will affect many people in the Shrubbery area of Weston, especially the elderly and less mobile who do not own cars and who do not have the ability to walk far. Isolation is both a physical and social problem for many and the hillside bus has been a lifeline for such people.

“I appreciate cash to support non-profitable routes is in short supply but trust all which can possibly be done to attract an alternative service will be done as a matter of urgency.”

A council spokesman said: “We will be working to find a replacement for service 106 to ensure these areas are not left without a bus service.

“However, with budgets for bus services extremely limited, the council will need to identify solutions which can be achieved with the funding available.”

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