A woman was escorted off a bus while collecting signatures for a petition against Stagecoach making cuts to her local service.

Suzanne Allen has collected almost 500 signatures after Stagecoach announced that the No 54 bus would no longer serve West Swindon.

Instead it will go from Wootton Bassett to the Swindon Designer Outlet to Swindon bus station, and not stop at Freshbrook or the Link Centre.

But on Friday Miss Allen was escorted off a bus by Stagecoach staff after collecting signatures from passengers on board.

Miss Allen, 50, of Godolphin Close in Freshbrook, said: “Two security guards escorted me off a bus on Friday. They said I shouldn’t be collecting signatures on board because of health and safety reasons, but I wasn’t even standing up.

“I was upset about that because I didn’t do anything wrong.

“There are going to be people upset because a lot of them don’t know about the cuts and will be waiting for the bus to turn up.”

She says the cuts will affect elderly passengers and students in particular and will mean people travelling from Wootton Bassett to use the Asda supermarket in West Swindon will have to change buses.

She said she had already met a teenager who was waiting to get the bus home from work in Asda to Wootton Bassett and did not know it was not running anymore.

She said: “I went down to Stagecoach and asked why they are cancelling it and they said the reason was because a lot of people from Wootton Bassett had complained that they had to go through Freshbrook on their way to into town. They (Stagecoach) also said it wasn’t making any money.

“But I have collected between 60 and 80 signatures from people in Wootton Bassett who don’t want the cuts.

“I have collected nearly 500 signatures and there are a lot of people who still haven’t heard about the changes.”

She said students travelling to the North Star campus of Swindon College would also be badly affected and her daughter was now having to leave half an hour earlier in the mornings.

Stagecoach has announced that the No 54 will be replaced with a new service called Direct 54, which will provide a direct link from Wootton Bassett to Swindon. The company said the Direct 54 will not serve West Swindon except on two school journeys numbered 54A.

It said passengers travelling from Wootton Bassett to West Swindon would be able to transfer to Service 8 – which travels from Fleming Way to the Swindon Designer Outlet to West Swindon – at no extra cost.

It added that the Direct 54 would terminate at Swindon and not continue to Wroughton.

For more information about timetables go to www.stagecoachbus.com.