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Michael takes Mangotsfield bus battle to WECA

The Labour councillor representing Mangotsfield is taking his concerns about the proposed withdrawal of a bus route to Southmead Hospital to the West of England Combined Authority this week.

Wessex Bus recently announced plans to cease their local services, with most being picked up by Stagecoach instead. However, the #10 service from Lyde Green to Southmead Hospital is due to be withdrawn completely. The bus company says that this is because the local authority has decided it cannot provide the subsidy necessary to make this service viable.

Councillor Michael Bell will raise his concern about the impact of this bus cut on Mangotsfield residents at the West of England Combined Authority meeting tomorrow (Friday) chaired by the Metro Mayor.

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Councillor Michael Bell says:

“I hope that the Metro Mayor and WECA, with its transport responsibilities, can find some way to intervene to reverse this closure.

The local authority’s advice to Mangotsfield residents who need to get to Southmead Hospital by public transport is ‘to interchange at Fishponds or Staple Hill with the 17 service, at UWE with the 77 service or at Bristol Parkway with the 77 or 82 service’.

Very few people who use buses regularly and have direct experience of their reliability will be confident about relying on two buses to reach hospitals in a timely fashion. This comes at a time when the NHS is complaining about the cost of missed appointments.

Even if the #10 is not very widely used, as is claimed, it provides a lifeline to those living in Mangotsfield who rely on public transport to hospital whether as a member of staff, out-patient or visitor.

The Combined Authority has public transport responsibilities. I would suggest that a top priority for public transport is connecting residents with local hospitals. I urge it to intervene to make sure that this lifeline is not withdrawn in September.”

The Combined Authority meets at Kingswood Civic Centre at 10.30 am on Friday morning.

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