Anger as commuter bus service from Dursley and Berkeley to Bristol is axed

COMMUTERS who rely on the bus to get to their jobs in Bristol have hit out at plans to axe the service they use next month.

Users of the 224 bus service, which runs once a day on weekdays only, have said they will be left with much higher commuter costs if the popular service is cut and they have to return to their cars or use the trains.

The commuters have also slammed suggested alternative bus routes, which they claim are not viable.

Gloucestershire County Council confirmed last week that from May 20 the 224 bus service would be cut.

The bus leaves Dursley at 7am and travels through Cam and Berkeley before heading into Bristol City Centre. It returns from Bristol at 5.15pm.

Paul Morris, from Wanswell, who works at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Bristol, has used the service for 12 years.

He said: "I, like many others, rely on this service on a daily basis for commuting to work, and am particularly disgusted as the transport department at Shire Hall informed me less than two months ago that the 224 service was not under immediate threat."

Heather Owens, from Berkeley, who is a civil servant, does not drive and uses the service four days a week.

Mrs Owens said: "As you can imagine I and my fellow commuters are very distressed at this decision as there are no real alternatives in place to the 224 service, and our means of making a living depend on it."

Alan Barrett, urban transport manager, said the 224 from Dursley to Bristol had been reviewed last year and was found to be too expensive to run.

He said: "Previously the service cost taxpayers £12 for every return journey on top of the price passengers were paying and that’s just not sustainable, so the service will be withdrawn."

Mr Barrett added the council had negotiated connecting services between Dursley and Cam and Dursley Train Station and extra services into and out of Thornbury for people travelling to Bristol.

He said: "As far as service 224 specifically is concerned, notices will be published later this week, which is a month in advance of the changes being made.

"As with all changes to bus services, if someone has a particular issue they should contact us directly."

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