A MAJOR bus service has been restored after the previous provider pulled out last week. 

The 62 bus service from Dursley to Bristol which used to run via Sharpness, Berkeley and Thornbury was suspended after Bristol Community Transport social enterprise stopped operating citing the pandemic and rising fuel costs.

Gloucestershire County Council has now found an emergency replacement bus provider to serve the route. 

Service 62 will now be operated by Applegates from today (Monday, September 5) and will operate from Dursley to Thornbury, stopping at Cam, Sharpness, Berkeley, Ham, and Falfield. 

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Those wishing to travel to Bristol can connect in Thornbury with the T1 service operated by First. 

However under the new 62 service there is no direct bus to Bristol and no early bus from Dursley - with the first bus leaving Dursley at 9.38am. 

Philip Robinson, cabinet member for bus transport at GCC, said: “We were made aware on Wednesday that Bristol Community Transport will no longer provide transport services in the Gloucestershire area from last Monday. 

“Understanding the impact that no service would have on people’s travel plans, we moved quickly to ensure that essential journeys, including the first day of school, can be made on Monday morning and thereafter. 

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“Unfortunately, it was not possible to replace the service in full at such short notice due to a lack of available buses and drivers at rates the council could feasibly afford using public funding. 

“This amended service is the only sustainable way of serving the areas in Gloucestershire affected at this time. 

Wendy Thomas, GCC councillor for Dursley said she would continue to ‘fight’ for a better solution. 

She said: “I have gone back to GCC'S integrated transport unit to say this is of no use to anyone using this service to get to a daytime job. 

“I have also asked that they reinstate the bus to the train station to at least help those who used the bus to get to Bristol. 

“I will continue to fight for a better solution.”

Lindsey Green, Berkeley Vale and Brian Tipper, Cam for Stroud District Council said they were ‘thrilled’ that residents can still maintain independence 

Ms Green said: “We are thrilled to know that people in Berkeley, Sharpness and beyond can continue to use a service and maintain independence. 

“Councillor Tipper and I could not stand by and allow residents in our area to be left stranded with no way of getting to work, college, shopping, doctors' appointments and more. 

“Unfortunately it is not a like for like service, but we are not being completely cut off altogether which is a good start. 

“The service will be run by Applegates and it is very good to see a local business taking this on at such short notice for the good of its local community. 

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“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved with getting this service in place in a timely manner.

The new timetable between Dursley and Thornbury, including the T1 service for those residents making the onward journey into Bristol, is available to view at - bit.ly/3TIsPRF