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Cuts fall on Bristol bus services

26 August 09 17:54 GMT

Dozens of bus routes in Bristol and South Gloucestershire are being cut or having their hours of operation curtailed due to council cutbacks.

Bristol City Council is saving £200,000 from its public transport budget with the cuts.

Services in the east and south of the city are particularly affected.

Councillor Jon Rogers said he regretted the cuts, but said work to speed up buses would make them more profitable and attractive.

He said the council's work on bus lanes and the introduction of Oyster-style swipe cards would make bus journeys quicker, attracting more people on to them and making them need less council subsidy.

Revised routes

The service changes come into effect on 27 September.

Routes from Staple Hill, Hengrove, Temple Meads, Downend, Whitchurch, Ashton, Filton Avenue and Lockleaze are among those dropped or altered.

A number of services will stop running at 1900 and are being scrapped completely on Sundays. Others will run less frequently or on revised routes.

All the services are operated by First Group, which was recently criticised by the Office of Fair Trading for operating near monopolies in many cities, including Bristol.

Campaigner David Redgewell, of Travelwatch, said the council's decision was a backward step and "every time... Bristol City Council need to make cuts, the hatchet falls on public transport".

"We could see a situation in the greater Bristol bus network where you have new shelters, new buses, new bus lanes, but virtually no buses," he added.

Full details of the service changes are on the Bristol City Council website.

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