Despite local protests Knowle West has now lost two bus services – the 52 and long-campaigned for 91 which is being scrapped on the Easter weekend.
First Bus claims this is due to ‘low usage’ but has promised two new services towards the end of May. The 53a and 53c buses will run between Inns Court, Broadwalk Shopping Centre and Temple Meads – with the schedule to be confirmed.
Local resident Lyn Caple (61) was one of the protesters who helped to get the 91 bus service instated. She says: “Pensioners are suffering and Knowle West is getting more isolated. We are now being left high and dry and back to square one again. I think this has happened since the free bus passes have come in – and they aren’t getting enough money.
“My mother is 88 and she can’t walk all the way to Melvin Square. We can now no longer get to Bedminster Down Cemetery…and it’s a hassle to get to Bedminster for shopping.”
Lyn says she has already met with First and is going to contact Labour MP for Bristol South, Dawn Primarolo, to help her cause. First claims the 52 and 91 buses have been withdrawn because of low numbers using the services, many of whom were ‘concessionary pass holders’.
And the company says to make the services ‘commercially viable’ at least four times as many people would need to use them every day.
Justin Davies, Managing Director of First Bristol, Somerset and Avon says: “…It is not economically possible, nor environmentally friendly, for us to run empty buses, so where passenger numbers have fallen we have adjusted the frequency of bus services to better match this.
“Two bus services have been withdrawn entirely, this is because too few people have used them. We apologise for any inconvenience these changes cause local people.”
Read more about the 89/91 Bus Campaign here