CHANGES to bus routes from West Swindon to Regent Circus were brought before full council last night as residents are finding it difficult to access the town centre.

Services 13 and 14 were amended at the beginning of January, and the routes no longer pass through the shopping district.

Local councillors Jim Robbins, (Lab, Mannington and Western), and Peter Watts, (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney), moved the motion expressing concerns about the decision, as they still consider it an economically viable route.

Coun Robbins decided to bring the matter to council after a number of complaints from residents.

He said: “The routes changed at the start of January. We had some contact from people before they changed, but now a large number of residents are finding it very difficult to cope with.

“The service used to go from Haydon Wick through Moredon, then around Regent Circus to Mannington and Western.

“While it used to go into and around Regent Circus, it now misses that part out, while that is where people need to get to.

“It is very clear this is something that is really affecting local residents.

“Lots of people living in Mannington and Western have been in contact with me to say that this is going to have a massive impact on them.

“We wanted to raise it at the council to make sure those voices are heard.

“There does not seem to be any financial reason for them not to run these services as usual.

“We are just encouraging people to have a look at this situation, and if it needs to be changed so certain routes can run on time that is what has to be done.”

Coun Robbins said the issue of timekeeping on these services could be solved without diverting the routes.

“If you have a lot of college students coming out at the same time on to one service, we need to look at how to cater for them, not alter existing routes,” he said.

“We are just asking Thamesdown to take into account all the views of these people.

“One of the problems I am told is that travelling around the new Whalebridge car park will cause some heavy delays.

“In that case there will be delays caused for everyone, but it would be more effective to adjust the timetable rather than cut out that part of town completely.”

Thamesdown Transport said the changes had been made in order to improve itsservice.

Paul Jenkins, the managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said: “The changes made to Services 13 and 14 have been made in order to improve timekeeping and reliability for passengers on these services.”