A DIRECT bus from Chipping Sodbury to the new Southmead Hospital has been agreed by South Gloucestershire councillors.

Previously, a direct bus from Yate to the £430million Brunel building at Southmead, which is now home to the region’s only A&E department following the transfer of services from Frenchay Hospital, was eventually instated following a widespread campaign by local residents, patients, doctors and led by Thornbury and MP Steve Webb.

The direct hourly 82 bus, run by First, runs from Monday to Saturday daytime and every two hours on Sundays.

But local councillors had continued to push for a service linking Chipping Sodbury to the hospital, without passengers having to first walk or get another bus to Yate.

At a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning, transportation and strategic environment committee on Wednesday (June 11), councillors voted to extend the current 82 service.

Cllr Adrian Rush (Lib Dem, Chipping Sodbury) said: “This new service is excellent news for local residents.

“Up until now there has been no direct bus service between Chipping Sodbury and Southmead Hospital. This has led to patients and visitors being forced to wait for a connection at Yate.

Cllr Pat Hockey (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell), who proposed the motion, said the council had a duty to help its residents get to the new hospital, which lies within Bristol City Council’s boundary.

She said: “Many vulnerable people rely on the bus to get to Southmead Hospital.

“As a council, we have a duty to promote greater accessibility to public transport and so I was pleased that we were able to secure funding for this new direct service.”