Thornbury nurse left stranded at Bristol Bus Station as snowfall hits services
A THORNBURY nurse was left stranded at Bristol Bus Station this morning after First suspended bus services amid heavy snowfall.
Kate Rawlings caught the 309 bus from Thornbury to the bus station in the city centre just after 6am.
When she arrived at about 7.30am, First announced that all services had been suspended, leaving her unable to catch a connecting bus to Frenchay Hospital, where she works as a nurse.
With few taxis running as a result of traffic gridlock and accidents around the area, it was not until 11.30am that she managed to get a taxi home.
She said that First should have cancelled all services this morning instead of running some and then leaving commuters abandoned.
She said: 'I thought I would be able to get to work as normal as the bus turned up in Thornbury. The bus driver on the 309 said there would be delays but they had been told it was running as normal so I just thought I would get to work.
'When we arrived at the bus station I was told by a fellow passenger when I had got off that the 327 to Frenchay and all other services had been suspended until further notice. I just felt frustration and annoyance.
'At about 8.30am they said all buses had been cancelled. I just felt really annoyed and realised I couldn't get to work and possibly couldn't get home.
'Someone from First said they were going to review the weather at lunchtime but said more than likely nothing would be running today.
'When I said I might be stuck he said I could spend the night in the bus station which is totally unacceptable for anyone let alone a woman on her own. I felt they were unhelpful and offered no suggestions of how I could get home.
'They couldn't give a monkey's. They didn't offer to pay for taxis and didn't care, they just wanted to brush me aside.'
Miss Rawlings, 38, said she had to wait for four hours in freezing conditions in the bus station before she was able to get home.
'It was very cold, draughty and wet. First weren't very forthcoming with information and were very unhelpful considering the conditions.'
No one from First was available for comment today.
A statement on their website said the conditions had made journeys treacherous in places.
It said: 'Just to give you a sense of what its like out there, earlier on today buses on Gloucester Road were having a very difficult time, with some sliding all over the place. Earlier there was an RTC between a lorry and a car too, so clearly the situation is difficult for everyone. Unfortunately the Wells Rd is still not passable for our buses, Bath Rd/Brislington just about passable by traffic but treacherous in places.
'Traffic across the area is easing slightly but we are still facing problems across the board. Certainly one journey on Service 76 this morning took us 3.15 hours from Westbury to the Centre.
'We do have staff working incredibly hard and we're trying to deliver services for the benefit of everyone. Were continuing to assess the routes across the patch and we'll continue to do so throughout the day. What we can tell you is if it is safe for us to do so we'll do what we can to get buses out on the road. Please bear with us in these difficult circumstances.'