From 2nd January 2017 there will be changes to a range of services in the Forest of Dean.
Vital public transport links in the Forest of Dean are being protected following feedback from local people.
In late 2015, the county council held a public consultation about bus services, and proposed evening and Sunday services 23, 24, 30 and 31 be merged into one service. Following feedback from local residents, the council is taking an alternative approach - protecting these routes with only minor changes.
The only change will be to evening service 24, with the late evening journeys, 11.20pm from Gloucester, and 11.56pm from Drybrook Road, Monday to Thursdays, ending due to a lack of use. On average, three people used these particular services each day.
Gloucestershire County Council is aware of the importance of buses to lots of people in the county, prioritises those services that help those most in need.
The county council pays towards some bus routes in the county where bus fares don’t cover the cost of running them. The cost per passenger of subsidising some of these services in this way was very high, with charges of up to £15.76 per passenger per return journey, so changes had to be made to make them more affordable.
In Coleford, services 709 and 738 will be replaced with a brand new service that will run from Symonds Yat and Joy’s Green into Coleford on Fridays.
The 701 service will continue to serve communities on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will be timed to connect with the 707 service to Chepstow. It will also connect with service 35 in both directions, offering Monmouth as an additional destination.
The 707 service will also operate on the current route three days a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Service 784, Purton - Newnham – Westbury-on- Severn, is an expensive service to run and is not well used, with only one regular passenger. Therefore, the decision has been made to stop the route. Instead, Lydney Dial a Ride (telephone 01594 843809) will be available to provide people who need transport with a dial a ride service or can signpost local people to a voluntary car service.
There will also be some changes to services in and around Newent. The 677 and 678 are being merged into a new route. It will serve Much Marcle to Glasshouse Inn, which is part of the 677 route, and then continue from Taynton and Tibberton, through to Gloucester. The bus will run two days a week, instead of the two services each running two days a week.
Those who used the 678 to commute will still be able to by using the Stagecoach service 32 that runs along the main road between Newent and Gloucester.
The 643 is being stopped, as the communities it operates in already have other buses serving them. Service 679 will be kept two days a week though, which serves the same places as the 643, but travels all the way to Ledbury, rather than finishing in Newent. The 643 will run on Tuesday and Fridays, on the same route and timetable.
Service 693 will be altered, so it can serve Onslow Road, providing a service into Newent from this area on Mondays and Thursdays.
All service changes will be effective from Monday 2nd January 2017.
Cllr Nigel Moor, county council cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “I am really pleased to know that we have been able to protect popular and well used services, such as the evening and Sunday services 23, 24, 30 and 31.
“We need to make sure our bus services as efficient as we can, because that helps us protect vital routes across the county. The council just can’t afford to pay £15.76 per journey for a return journey anymore. We’ve listened really carefully to what people in the Forest have told us – and I’m really pleased we’ve found a way to protect more routes as a result.”
Details of timetables and routes are available on the Traveline Southwest website at www.travelinesw.com.
From 2nd January there will also be changes to services 852 and 881 which run between Gloucester and Cirencester and between Cirencester and Tetbury.
The changes to these bus services are part of a review of county council supported buses across the county.
A new service will replace the two bus routes from 2nd January 2017.
The new service will still be operated by Pulhams Coaches and will provide a regular service between Tetbury and Cirencester and Gloucester, meaning there will be new direct journeys between Tetbury and Gloucester.
A daily late morning shoppers service will be available for all villages currently served on these routes but the peak time travel between the major towns will be more direct and so more attractive for commuting and shopping.
The new bus is timed to meet some trains at Kemble station allowing access to London for commuting and visiting, particularly from Cirencester.
Existing school journeys will be kept, but will also serve Coates on the return journey.
Some journeys are less well used and some of these won’t run any more, to allow a more reliable and affordable service.
The timetable will be available on South West Traveline at www.travelinesw.com from 23rd December.
From 22nd January 2017, bus services in Cheltenham will be changing.
Residents of Benhall and Up Hatherley will benefit from a brand new service from January, which will provide better access to shops, a pharmacy and the local library. It will also operate on Saturdays as well.
The new service K, which serves Cheltenham – Benhall – Up Hatherley, will combine the current J and K services. The new route has been extended to Benhall and each bus stop will have a set time each hour that the bus will arrive; making is easier to know when a bus is expected.
The number of services per day is also extending, from five to seven. The new service will be operated by Pulhams Coaches.
The previous services did cover near Cheltenham station, which the new service will not. However, service D operates up to every 10 minutes around the station.
There have also been changes to service F, which following feedback from customers, is going to be extended to serve Gloucestershire airport.
Service F will continue to run every 30 minutes Monday – Saturday, and hourly on a Sunday. There have been a few tweaks to the timetable, while the service will now be operated by Stagecoach.
Services P, Q and V are also being combined to provide a new service. The P/Q service will be run by Pulhams Coaches and extended to cover Priors Road and the Cleevemount Estate.
The service will run on an hourly timetable, with P running clockwise, and Q anti-clockwise. Like the new service K, each stop will have a set time for residents to catch a service, instead of having to know a timetable.
Although the overall journey time of the route is about 10 minutes longer, there is very little impact on journey times because it’s a circular route and people can choose to get the bus in the direction that will give them the shortest journey time. There will be four journeys in each direction for each route, and the service will operate Monday – Saturday with a low floor bus. Using these buses will make them more accessible than the buses currently used on the service V.
A short section of Hewlett Road won’t be served by the new service but there is only a short walk to the nearest stop and community transport is available in the area.
The changes come after a consultation last year and a recently completed tender process.
Gloucestershire County Council has listened to people’s views to understand what services are needed and has designed these new services to meet people’s transport needs, whilst being more affordable.
The county council pays towards some bus routes in the county where the money received from bus users isn’t enough to cover the cost of running them. The cost per passenger of subsidising some of these services in this way is very high, so changes need to be made to make them more affordable. Some changes have had to be made to buses only used by a few people.
Cllr Nigel Moor, the county council's cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “I’m happy we’ve been able to make positive changes to buses in Cheltenham which make them much more affordable, whilst making sure a good transport service is still available.
“We’ve listened carefully to local people during the consultation last year and I’m confident the solutions we’ve found are really valuable to people who rely on this type of transport. I hope the changes we’ve made will also make bus travel more attractive to people who may not have considered using the bus in the past.”
Timetables for the services will be published on www.travelinesw.com from 30th December, with new services to start on 22nd January 2016.
Here are the September 2016 South Gloucestershire Service Changes.
To view changes please choose your area of interest from the sidebar. Latest news listed below.
More areas will be added to this list as and when required.