Bus cuts petition gathers thousands of signatures

Over two-thousand signatures have been collected for a petition calling on bus company First to reverse its decision to cut a service between the Larkhall and Fairfield Park areas of Bath.

Residents and councillors have been campaigning against changes to the number 6 and 7 service which used to run between the two areas. The service, which previously ran in a loop between the city centre, Fairfield Park and Larkhall, now operates separate buses from the city centre to the two areas, no longer linking the two communities. The changes by First have met with fierce opposition, with protests taking place outside the bus station in Bath and at the Guildhall.

After collecting signatures online and from residents in the areas for the past three weeks, campaigners now say they have signed up well over 2000 people to support the campaign. Local Conservative Councillor Bryan Chalker, who represents Larkhall and parts of Fairfield Park, has said he will present the petition to managers from First at a meeting scheduled for the 4th of June.

Cllr Chalker (Cons, Lambridge) said:

“We have had an absolutely overwhelming response to this campaign and it’s been an honour to support such dedicated local people fighting to save a vital service. This now has to be one of the biggest petitions organised in Bath for many years and shows how important this bus service is to residents in Larkhall and Fairfield Park.

“First didn’t take into account the needs of local people before making these changes, but will have no choice but to listen in the face of such huge support for the bus service. A meeting has been arranged by the council between us and First, at which we’ll be presenting this petition to the bus company’s managers. First still has time to listen and we’re hopeful they will do the right thing once hearing our arguments for reinstating this bus service.”

The meeting with First Bus has been arranged at the request of the Council’s Cabinet Member in charge of transport, Cllr Charles Gerrish, who has pledged to throw the council’s weight behind the calls to reinstate the service.