A deal to save three local bus routes has been announced following negotiations between Labour-run Bristol City Council and First Bus.
The 36, 91 and 96 routes, which had been earmarked for potential service reductions, will continue to operate as normal, providing much needed public transport to communities in the south and east of the city.
The announcement comes after a campaign from local Brislington resident and Labour’s candidate in Thursday 16th January’s Brislington East by-election, Tim Rippington. Public subsidies from our Labour-run council have protected these crucial community services.
Tim said: “Fellow Brislington residents will be very pleased that Mayor Marvin Rees has listened to our concerns about public transport, amidst First Bus’s plans to axe evening and weekend services for the 36 and 96.
“These vital bus services provide viable alternatives to the car, which are more important than ever to tackle congestion and pollution. It is only right that Marvin has stepped in to save the 36 and 96 from First Bus’s cuts.”
An investment of £60,000 from the council will secure the three routes for three months from December whilst the authority works with First Bus and other transport partners to put in place longer term services for the area.
The routes, which collectively serve Hartcliffe, Knowle, Filwood, Brislington and St Annes, had seen reductions in use making them challenging services to maintain. This investment coincides with the announcement of a new bus deal for the city that aims, among other things, to encourage bus use across Bristol.
Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We put a high value on local bus networks because of the vital role they play in connecting communities and delivering opportunity for residents across the city. Getting people to jobs, education, family, friends, and appointments – for many the local bus network is a lifeline that ensures they can go about their daily life.
“We’ve taken this step to invest in saving these routes because we want to find sustainable solutions for local transport in these areas but don’t think residents using these routes should suffer any loss of service whilst we do that. Our recently announced bus deal will look to deliver better, more reliable commuter journeys across the city and provide more reasons for people to jump on the bus. We will continue to work closely with local bus providers to find solutions that secure the future of services and ensures operators aren’t being expected to run loss-making routes.”