Village’s ‘shock’ at changes to bus services

PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 September 2016

The changes have affected First Bus services.

The changes have affected First Bus services.

Archant

People in Yatton have accused First Bus of ‘not caring’ about their community, after changes to bus timetables left large parts of the village ‘cut off’ from vital bus routes.

The comments were made at a Yatton Parish Council meeting on Monday, where councillors pledged to work alongside the bus company and North Somerset Council to see whether changes to the services could be introduced to help villagers.

First withdrew its W1 service, which ran along Yatton High Street, at the start of September. It was replaced with the new X1A service which does not serve Yatton.

The only First bus which now stops in Yatton is the new X6A service, which stops at the Yatton Railway Station and Top Scaur bus stops and travels to Bristol via Clevedon.

Many people in the village believe this will leave people without cars unable to get around, and also criticised First for removing the village’s only direct bus link to Weston. Two online petitions have also been set up in the wake of the decision, which urge First to reconsider the changes.

Villager Ian Pullar told the meeting he was extremely upset by the decision.

Mr Pullar said: “I was shocked at the way a large national bus company treated the residents of this area.

“It is not only Yatton. Those living in Cleeve and Claverham are certainly cut off from the services in the village. They cannot get to the supermarket, the chemist, the library or the council office.

“Expecting people to walk from Henley Lane down to the precinct and back when they have large shopping bags is just not a feasible proposition and the 88 (bus service), good though it may be, only runs every two hours in the middle of the day.

“They (First) do not seem to care. I am certainly not happy.”

The parish council agreed to support the petitions and voted to form a sub-group which would look into improving Yatton’s bus service.

Cllr Wendy Griggs said: “The public have summarised all the facets of the problems with the buses.

“The public consultation meeting (about the changes) was a farce – they just handed out the new timetables.”

The decision was also criticised at Monday’s meeting by Yatton’s district councillor, Jill Iles.

Cllr Iles said: “It is absurd to have that sort of service in Yatton.

“I think the idea of a sub-group is very constructive.

“I did not know anything about what was happening – we did not have any warning and that, to me, is not the way it should have been progressed.”

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