COUNCILLORS are set to meet the head of Thamesdown Transport to discuss changes to a bus route that has cut off many elderly residents from their community.

Gorse Hill councillors will meet Paul Jenkins tomorrow to discuss the changes to the number 11 bus route, and they are asking people to get in touch if they have been affected.

On January 6, revised routes and timetables were introduced in response to passenger usage, which included the Number 11 service being rerouted from the top of Pinehurst Road through Whitworth Road.

This has left the residents of Beech Avenue with no bus service from Monday to Saturday.

Coun Rochelle Russell (Lab, Gorse Hill and Pinehurst) said she wanted to go into the meeting armed with a broad picture of the situation.

She said: “The number 11 bus route has been altered for efficiency reasons.

“It has left quite a lot of people in the Beech Avenue adrift.

“There is a post office for people along Greenmeadow, which is the only post office they can get to, but now they can’t use the bus.

“They would have to get a bus to the Orbital and then back through the houses, just to go to the post office.

“I know there are other bus stops but for elderly residents it is difficult.

“I am hoping that at the meeting I will be able to explain to Mr Jenkins the sort of people who are affected, just to see if there is any way to re-route the service.”

Retired quality controller Paul Kumra, 73, who has lived on Beech Avenue for 45 years, has been a regular user of the Number 11. He has set up a petition he intends to give to Thamesdown Transport.

Thamesdown Transport managing director Paul Jenkins said: “The recent changes made to our services were as a result of thorough analysis of how our passengers used the services, with the aim of making them more efficient and therefore commercially viable.

“Service 11 was also affected by the loss of around £500,000 a year in financial support from the NHS for services to the Great Western Hospital.

“Where roads are no longer served, we have tried to ensure there are alternative routes available nearby.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.”