FIRST Bus will make changes to its new routes if enough passengers contact them about a service, says an MP.
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport’s MP met bosses at First to raise bus users’ concerns on Friday.
As previously reported in The News, Ms Dinenage wrote to the company but after receiving their response, she organised a meeting with Marc Reddy, the regional commercial and business growth director for the area.
It comes after the routes in the town, along with Portsmouth, Fareham and Waterlooville, were completely changed earlier this month.
Ms Dinenage said First agreed to look into making changes in the spring if they receive enough feedback from bus users across the area.
She said: ‘He’s going to collect together all the concerns from all the local residents, and effectively where there is a groundswell of public concern about particular routes which he feels there are a lot of people getting in touch with him about it, those are the ones he’s going to look at.
‘If they do any reviews, they will do them all in one batch, because the worst thing is when you keep chopping and changing bus routes because people can’t rely on them.
‘It’s reasonable that their mind isn’t closed and that they’re prepared to listen to people and where they’ve got concerns they will act upon them.
‘If they only get one letter about a certain bus route they’re clearly not going to change it on the strength of that but where there is significant public concern about the chopping or changing of a route, they will listen.’
After receiving letters, emails and phone calls from constituents, Ms Dinenage raised specific cases with Mr Reddy, pointing out that bus users in Elson said the number nine service no longer meets their needs.
Councillor Keith Farr, labour member for Forton ward, launched a petition over the service and now has nearly 200 signatures, as previously reported in The News.
First was unavailable to comment, but after the meeting Mr Reddy took the social networking website Twitter.
He said: ‘Good meeting with @cj_dinenage discussing our new bus network. Good feedback for us to work on.
‘Keen to receive as much customer feedback as possible and will feed this into a further review.’