Pensioners appeal against bus changes
A GROUP of Portishead pensioners are appealing to North Somerset Council to stop cuts to a bus service they heavily rely on.
The unitary authority is making changes to its supported bus services as part of its drive to save money and passengers using the 692 in Portishead say the changes will leave them high and dry.
From April 1, the 692 service from Redcliffe Bay to Nailsea will be replaced by the number 66 bus and the route will no longer include the South Road or Port Marine areas of Portishead or a service through Clapton-in-Gordano.
The senior residents say they are devastated at the prospect of losing the service which acts as a lifeline to them.
Long-time resident Barbara Davies of Seville Road said: “A large number of senior citizens rely heavily on the bus stopping at South Road to get to and from High Street. This is a very serious matter for us and we will be lost without it.”
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The senior residents are calling for the number 66 bus route, which will be directly from Redcliffe Bay to High Street via Nore Road and Cabstand, to be extended to maintain stops at Port Marine and South Road.
Mrs Davies added: “There is a hill between the shops and our homes. Cutting this bus route is like cutting our independence and we are in despair at the prospect of losing it.”
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A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “Only an average of three or four passengers were using the South Road stop each day and very few people from the new housing developments at Port Marine have taken advantage of it.
“As a result the service to these areas is being withdrawn, however community transport may offer an alternative service and we are looking to see where this option can be extended.”
Meanwhile councillor Reyna Knight, whose ward includes South Road and Port Marine, says she is looking into the situation and is investigating how much money will be saved by cutting out these stops.