Petitioning to save valued bus service

HUNDREDS of Clevedon residents have signed a petition aimed at saving a much-needed bus service from being axed.

Determined pensioner June Blease launched the campaign after learning North Somerset Council planned to cut the 800 town service from its list of subsidised bus routes.

The 800 will stop operating from April following a cost-cutting review of all the services the authority supports financially.

The service, which runs Monday to Friday and is used by many elderly people as well as school children, allows passengers to get on and off the bus anywhere along its route.

June, aged 72 of Beaconsfield Road, said: “The petition is asking North Somerset Council to review the decision and look at some alternative ways of keeping the 800, possibly through a reduced frequency or a small charge.

“We just don’t want to be left with nothing.”

June has so far collected more than 100 signatures and petitions have also been left in the Baptist Church in Queens Square and Caf� Solo in Old Church Road.

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The final petition will be presented at a meeting of Clevedon Town Council on February 7. She has also written to North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox.

The 800 is used by many elderly people to travel into Clevedon’s town centre and visit its shops and cafes.

June, who works voluntarily as an activity coordinator at Worcester Lodge care home in Castle Road, uses it to travel when her painful hip means she cannot drive.

She said: “One of my friends is 91 and is almost completely blind.

“He goes to the town centre everyday just so he can have a coffee and meet people rather than be stuck in four walls.

“I have heard that a lot of children use the 800 to get to and from school. It will be a travesty for that group of people as well.

“It is cutting off the two extremes of society – the youngsters and the elderly – who we should be looking after.”

When contacted previously about the decision to cut the 800 service, North Somerset Council’s executive member for transport Elfan Ap Rees said: “We made the decision that in Clevedon there are still credible bus services.

“The only change really is that some people may have to change buses to get from A to B rather than staying on the same bus.”

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