A PETITION with almost 800 signatures against a decision to end a bus service between Park South and Great Western Hospital is to be presented to Swindon Council.

In January 2012, Thamesdown Transport amended the number 18 route, which ran between Fleming Way and the hospital, so it stopped at Park South, meaning residents did not have a dedicated bus route to the Great Western Hospital.

The bus company said low passenger numbers meant the route was not commercially viable.

Instead, Thamesdown arranged for the service 16, which runs between Fleming Way and the hospital, to stop at New College to pick up passengers living in the area.

But elderly and sick residents said they would have to walk further.

Now the Labour group, which is supporting the petition, is calling on Swindon Council’s Conservative group, whose members were on Thamesdown’s board when the decision was made, to reinstate the service, or provide another direct service.

A strategy on future bus routes which is expected to be presented to cabinet on October 17.

Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Park South, Liden and Eldene ), said: “I think when the Conservative administration decided to stop the number 18 bus service it was unfair as residents and ward councillors were all left in the dark until the decision was made.

“Then the Conservatives decided to reintroduce the bus services to Penhill and Coleview but not in Park South and passengers felt shafted again.

“What this petition shows is that the number 18 bus service is valued by the people of Park South and that the service between Park South and the hospital should be reinstated. “Earlier this year the Conservatives said they would produce a bus strategy that would address passenger needs and I think enabling the elderly and sick to get to the hospital is a high need. “So hopefully this petition will influence the strategy next month.”

Council leader Coun Roderick Bluh said: “I will accept the petition from the Park South residents when it is submitted and consider it as part of the evidence for the bus strategy.”