Dozens gather at Guildhall for First Bus cuts protest

Dozens of residents from Larkhall and Fairfield Park gathered this morning to protest against planned cuts to a crucial bus service between the two areas.

The protesters gathered outside of Bath’s Guildhall in a show of strength before attending a meeting of a Council Overview and Scrutiny committee where First’s plans were discussed. The protest centres on plans by First to cut the numbers 6 and 7 service running between Larkhall and Fairfield Park.

Lambridge Conservative Councillor Bryan Chalker joined demonstrators to support of the protest along with the Council’s Cabinet Member in charge of transport Cllr Charles Gerrish. Councillor Chalker has been collecting signatures for a petition against the planned cuts with fellow Lambridge councillor Richard Maybury. Protesters collected signatures from passers-by and even drivers stopped at traffic lights outside Guildhall.

Cllr Gerrish spoke with the protesters and informed them that whilst the council does not have the power to stop First cutting the service, it had made representations to the company and has asked for an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

Cllr Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North) said:

“There is clearly a very strong feeling among residents in Larkhall and Fairfield Park that this a is vital bus service for many local people. The Council is doing what it can to put pressure on First to reconsider its decision to alter this service as well as the number 2 service between Combe Down and Lansdown. We have asked to meet with managers from First to discuss the matter urgently.”

Cllr Bryan Chalker (Cons, Lambridge) added:

“Residents in Larkhall and Fairfield Park feel that First has not properly consulted on the changes and has not listened to our concerns, and they’re fast becoming known as ‘Farce Bus’. We have already collected several hundred signatures for the petition against these cuts, but the campaign won’t end here. Further protests are planned at the bus station to show First just how important this service is. We will keep going until we really get First’s attention.”

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