Gosport council steps in to bring back cut bus route

Gosport Borough Council is forking out �4,000 to subsidise the number 11 First Bus service on Saturdays
Gosport Borough Council is forking out �4,000 to subsidise the number 11 First Bus service on Saturdays
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BUS users have won a reprieve after a council stepped in to pay for a route.

Gosport Borough Council is forking out £4,000 to subsidise the number 11 First Bus service on Saturdays.

Deputy leader Graham Burgess said: ‘With the development coming in at Haslar they will be wanting transport for the site.

‘It will serve the residents of Clayhall and the residents along the route of the A32.

‘Gosport council has stepped in.’

The number 11 goes from Fareham bus station to Alverstoke via Brockhurst and Gosport. Its Saturday service was slated for closure after Hampshire County Council cut the subsidy.

The county has also cut the subsidy for the number 21, which no longer serves Lee-on-the-Solent.

The route has been switched to Hill Head and Stubbington instead.

Cllr Burgess said he was told the route would have cost more than £5,000 to subsidise had it not been altered. But he said the cost of subsidising it after the change would have rocketed to £19,000 – and the borough council could not afford to pay that.

Cllr Burgess said: ‘Lee has suffered at the expense of Hill Head. They are withdrawing the bus completely from Lee and if we wanted the service we would need a new bus.’

County council transport boss Cllr Sean Woodward said the county did not need to subsidise the 21 route as there is a free Asda bus serving the same route.

He said the county is still subsidising the route by around £300,000.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘There’s no loss of route, there was no reason to subsidise it. The 21 is now running a faster service to Hill Head and Fareham.’

He added student-only buses funded by the Cemast centre at Daedalus will also be opened to the public.

Six petitions were set up in opposition to the recent First Bus’ announcement of a further shake-up to routes.

A firm spokeswoman said: ‘The borough council is considering whether it would be able to financially support services that have been withdrawn as part of county council’s subsidised bus service review.’