Conservative councillors in Whitchurch and Keynsham have welcomed the news that a number of bus services in the area are set to be improved over the coming months.
The new and improved bus services will be paid for using funding gained from developer-contributions towards public transport improvements from the new housing being built at the Somerdale former-Cadbury factory site. The money from the developer will be used to ‘kick-start’ the new bus services, with the hope that it will then become viable for a an operator to continue running the services on a commercial basis.
The improvements are due to take place from the 29th March and include:
· A new 637 service, which is proposed to run hourly between the Somerdale site and the new South Bristol Hospital via Keynsham and Whitchurch village.
· Improvements to the number 17 service between Keynsham and Southmead Hospital, including the creation of a number 16 ‘sister’ route which will extend buses to Keynsham that currently terminate in Kingswood, thereby creating a half-hourly service from Keynsham to Kingswood, Longwell Green and Southmead Hospital.
Whitchurch Councillor Peter Edwards (Cons, Publow & Whitchurch), said:
“I’ve been campaigning for quite some time on the need for a more direct bus link between Whitchurch and the new South Bristol Hospital, so I’m absolutely delighted by this news. These improvements could make a real difference to the lives on many residents in Whitchurch, particularly older residents, who use the services at this hospital.
“By providing a link to this hospital, it will also connect our village to a main bus interchange for onward journeys, including eventually the Bristol MetroBus.”
Welcoming the planned service improvements, Keynsham Councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) added:
“It’s very welcome to see that money gained from the developer of the Somerdale site is being used in a way which will improve public transport for all Keynsham residents.
“Better bus links to both South Bristol and Kingswood, as well as the new Southmead Hospital, will be welcome by many residents in Keynsham and can help reduce the need for some car journeys – thereby helping reduce traffic.”