A campaign run by councillors in Peasedown St John over the summer to reinstate a popular bus service through the village has partially paid off, thanks to a timetable change.
For several years, the 171 bus service provided a regular, hourly link between the village and the centre of Bath via Orchard Way.
After the withdrawal of Somerbus earlier in the year, First Bus stepped in to take on the route, but made ‘unpopular’ changes to the service’s route.
After hearing concerns of local passengers, Peasedown Councillors Karen Walker and Sarah Bevan (Independent) met with First Managing Director Andrew Sherrington and persuaded him to change the service back to most of its original route through Orchard Way.
Cllr Karen Walker said: “Without any consultation, First changed the route of the service, meaning buses wouldn’t stop at bus stops that had been well used for years, and where we’d seen new bus stops, flag poles and bus shelters installed.
“The £20,000 investment we’d secured for bus stop ‘makeovers’ in Orchard Way was to have been a waste of money, unless we could persuade the bus company to return to the former route.”
With the timetable now amended to show buses once again going through Orchard Way, Karen and Sarah are delivering over 1,000 timetables to homes around the area this Autumn to update residents on the good news.
The information flyers also include details of the new late-night service to Orchard Way, Peasedown St John from Bath Bus Station.
Cllr Sarah Bevan added: “For years, residents have been asking us for a late-night service to Orchard Way.
“Our village has grown so much over the past 20 years that it can take up to half-an-hour to walk from one side to the other.
“Now, thanks to this new late 23:50 service people won’t have to walk home so far from a bus stop in the middle of the night, which can be intimidating for young, older and more vulnerable people, including lone women.
“Karen and I are extremely pleased to be have been able to secure this new service for our residents.”
Karen and Sarah remain concerned, however, that for residents of Wellow Mead and Wellow Lane the 171 service hasn’t returned to their street, and have made Andrew Sherrington aware of the growing number of complaints.
For more details about the 171 service to Orchard Way from Bath visit www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west. Any concerns about timings, or the service itself, need to made directly to First by calling 0345 602 0121.