Residents want to see a route change for no 15
CONCERNED residents are calling for bus number 15 to alter its route – claiming that it runs through a busy estate creating danger for pedestrians and drivers.
Residents would like to see the services, which run every 20 minutes, redirected from the south of Queen Elizabeth Drive and covering Taw Hill and Redhouse, to take a route along Thamesdown Drive instead.
They said Queen Elizabeth Drive is narrow, forcing buses to mount pavements. They also say the mini-roundabouts on the road are unsuitable for buses as the vehicles have to go around them the wrong way.
Two residents, Brian McLean and David Parkinson, who live on Queen Elizabeth Drive, carried out a survey asking other residents if they would mind walking the extra few miles to Thamesdown Drive. All but one of the 75 respondents voted for the proposed changes.
Mr McLean said: “Thamesdown Transport is sending buses along roads not suited for their use every 20 minutess. They are virtually empty most of the time and [it goes] against the wishes of the local community.
“Meanwhile Blunsdon gets its service all but removed with the likelihood that the inefficient replacement will also go in the near future as well,” said Brian.
He suggested Taw Hill should be served by a stop at the Tawny Owl and a stop at Garsington Road routed along Thamesdown Drive in between and for Redhouse and Oakhurst to be served by a stop on Oakhurst Way and a further stop on Thamesdown Drive.
“This would create some timetable flexibility and fuel savings which, with a bit of imagination, could perhaps take one route 15 every hour up to Blunsdon,” added Brian.
Mr Parkinson added these changes would create a bus express way rather than the inefficient ‘milk train’ service at present.
A spokesman for Thamesdown said: “We have operated a regular service along Queen Elizabeth Drive since September 2011.
“It is the most efficient and effective way for us to provide public transport services to the residents of Taw Hill and we are satisfied it is safe for buses to use.
“It is important that buses can access housing estates so that they can provide a convenient service to residents who either do not own a car or choose not to use their car for local journeys.
“Leaving and rejoining Thamesdown Drive repeatedly as suggested would slow Service 15 down, rather than speed it up, and the proposal would mean passengers having to walk further to bus stops.
“Commercial bus services must... be provided in accordance with demand, which is why Service 15 runs up to every 20 minutes.
“Regrettably, there were not enough people travelling between the Orbital Shopping Park and Blunsdon for us to keep that route going, and unfortunately changing Service 15 will not provide the solution.”
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