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Anger over cuts to bus services
WORRIED passengers say changes to the bus timetable in Blunsdon could lead to the elderly being unable to reach shops and doctors.
Thamesdown Transport has said from September 2, Blunsdon will no longer be served by the half-hourly number 12, which will be replaced by service 24 – an hourly bus from the village down Cricklade Road, through Gorse Hill and into Swindon’s centre.
Resident Julie Allen has started a petition, which has so far collected more than 100 signatures, to rally support against the changes .
Mrs Allen, chairman of the community shop voluntary committee, said many elderly people rely on the bus to get out and about.
She said: “It gives them a purpose, a way of getting out for a bit. It’s ludicrous – they haven’t spoken to any of us about the changes. It’s going to have a detrimental effect on so many people who use the bus to get to hospital appointments or to go to Asda.”
Blunsdon St Andrew Parish Council chairman Ian Jankinson, is also angry the changes have been made without consulting anyone.
He said: “There has been no consultation carried out, no discussion, but just an imposition that is profit-based not service-based. To whom do Thames-down think they are providing a service? Definitely not the residents of Blunsdon.”
He said parishioners from the Park Homes site in Tadpole Lane will be totally excluded from the new route.
Thamesdown Transport managing director Paul Jenkins said not enough people use the service.
“We have been monitoring the changes to the network and timetables that were implemented in January and it was apparent some areas needed modifying to help ensure our buses run as punctually and reliably as possible – as well as catering for demand,” he said.
“The route between Blunsdon and North Swindon was not used by enough passengers to make it commercially viable.
“While this has meant the link from Blunsdon to the Orbital Shopping Park will be discontinued, passengers will be able to arrive in town faster on the new Service 24 and will now be able to travel easily to the Tesco superstore on Ocotal Way.
“Passengers in the Tadpole Lane area, including the Park Homes, will still be in easy reach of Service 12, which serves Wallis Drive – a short walk from the current stop.
“We understand these changes may not be ideal for all and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
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