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Bus company boss says sorry for cuts
Thamesdown Transport boss Paul Jenkins apologised to angry users for bus cuts at a heated public meeting on Thursday night.
The managing director was answering questions from people who live in Blunsdon who say last week’s changes to the services have left them isolated.
It now means there is no direct service between Blunsdon and the Orbital District Centre, in Haydon Week, which many need for vital services.
Paul apologised for the changes but said they were vital for the bus company to make a profit due to the lack of usage on the old routes. He said: “I’m very sorry but there were not enough people using the number 12 route. I fully understand the concerns of people but the fact was it was not possible to provide the service commercially. There is no viable way of running a service between Blunsdon and the Orbital.”
Thamesdown Transport is completely owned by Swindon Council but is run as an ‘arms-length’ company, meaning the council are not involved in its operation.
As a result it must aim to make a profit.
Paul cited the economic situation as the reason why the changes had to be made for business reasons. He said: “There was no public consultation. This was a commercial decision.
Many residents were left unimpressed with his answers and felt there were options for a direct service to the orbital.
Barbara Carlson, 61, was at the meeting in Bridlewood Primary School only because she managed to get a lift. She lives in Blunsdon and has had three knee replacements.
She said: “Everyone said a half-hourly service was too much but we need something. A bus service to the Orbital is absolutely vital for me. I have been told by doctors that I need regular exercise to keep movement in my knee.
“I also use the library as well and now I can only get a lift at the weekend when my husband or daughter is able to give me lift.
“The whole village is very upset by the decision. The trip to the Orbital is a good way of getting out for many of the elderly residents. Having spoken to them they feel as though they have been totally abandoned and told they are not important.”
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