COUNCILLORS in Haydon Wick have been lobbying to stop changes being made to a vital bus service in their area.
From Sunday, Thamesdown Transport will introduce revised routes or timetables for a number of services, including the Service 11 from Haydon Wick to East Wichel.
Coun Rex Barnett and Coun David Renard, (Con, Haydon Wick) met the managing director of Thamesdown Transport to discuss the changes, which also include a new number 12 Service which will see the former Service 24 renumbered and rerouted via Pinehurst Road instead of Cirencester Way, providing a bus every 30 minutes from Blunsdon via Abbey Meads, Haydon Wick, Pinehurst, Fleming Way, Old Town and Lawn to GWH.
Coun Renard said: “The main problem is that the route via Broadway is longer than the new one and, if they are to continue to offer a regular 15 minute service, it cannot be done using the old route.
“It only affects a minority of their passengers and the decision is taken for the benefit of the vast majority of passengers.
“But it is unfortunate, especially for the elderly who have no other way of getting from Larchmore Close to Broadway where there are a number of shops, three churches and a post office.”
Coun Barnett said: “Thamesdown Transport did agree to review the new service and might reconsider.”
The councillors said those unable to get off at Larchmore Close and go along Whitworth Road, can take the 11 or 12 to ASDA Walmart and change to the 13 or 14 which will go via Broadway, but take longer.
The changes to the services are being made in response to passenger usage, as well as the ending of NHS funding for bus services ot the GWH, which was only provided for 10 years after the hospital was built.
Paul Jenkins, of Thamesdown Transport, said: “We found only 26 passengers out of 394 on Service 11 between Asda Walmart and Green-meadow alighted at The Broadway, the majority went to the town centre and back.
“The 11 and 12 will therefore run from Greenmeadow to Pinehurst via Whitworth Road. Passengers from Greenmeadow who want to go to The Broadway can go change to Services 13 and 14 at Adsa. We are sorry for any inconvenience.”