Wiltshire bus routes hit by budget cuts
Evening and Sunday bus services are being cut on some routes as Wiltshire Council makes savings.
The changes come into effect on Sunday on services operated by First.
The cuts are to services subsidised by Wiltshire Council which cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Those affected include the 263 service Trowbridge to Studley Green, where the number of evening journeys will be cut back. The last bus on the service will now set off 19 minutes later between Monday and Friday.
The bus will now leave at 11.09pm from the bus stop near Trowbridge Town Hall.
On service 264/265 between Bath, Trowbridge and War-minster the frequency of buses operating Monday to Saturday evenings will be reduced from every 60 minutes to 95 minutes, while on Sundays some late evening journeys are being axed altogether. This means the last journey from Bath to Trowbridge on Sundays will leave at 7.35pm, while the last bus from Trowbridge to Bath will depart at 8.35pm.
Also being lost will be the last bus between Bath and Chippenham on the 232 service. Currently the last bus from Bath leave at 9.45pm. That will now be 7.40pm, arriving in Chippenham at 8.40pm, while from Chippenham the last bus will be at 8.50pm rather than 10.55pm.
In addition, the evening service on the 231 route between the Pewsham estate and Calne will end.
Simon Ford, acting regional network manager for First in the South West, said: “These alterations are regrettable, but in making them we have worked with the council and done what we can to minimise the likely impact on our customers.”
Councillor Richard Gamble, portfolio holder for transport at Wiltshire Council, said evening and Sunday services had lower priority than daytime services and in the case of the 231 cut, that Stagecoach runs a bus service on that route.
He acknowledged that the changes could make life difficult for people who rely on the bus services affected.
He said: “Inevitably any change in services is potentially disruptive to people’s lifestyles and there may be people who depended on them to get to work.
“We have done our best to maintain services as best we can but it’s a challenge to maintain what we have in limited budgets. I can only hope they can find alternatives.”