Shoppers angered at decision to cut bus service times

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CUSTOMERS of a supermarket have expressed their anger at changes to the bus service which stops outside the store.

People who shop at Sainsbury’s Farlington, in Fitzherbert Road, are angry that the number 22, 22A and 22B bus services will only go to the store every 70 minutes.

Passengers on the bus were used to the service being every half hour.

The changes, which come into play on June 9, are some of many being changed by First Bus Group and Portsmouth City Council.

Pam Brown, from The Salterns, Drayton, who uses the 22 bus twice a week, said: ‘I am very angry about the change to the service.

‘It was very handy with all the different routes it did.

‘One went from here to Cosham and every hour it went to Fareham which was very nice. But now, it will be every 70 minutes.

‘It is silly and will lose the service a lot of passengers.’

The new service to go into the supermarket will be run by Stagecoach and will be the number 24.

It will run from Farlington, through Cosham and on to Port Solent.

Dan Gray, 76, who catches the bus from Lower Drayton Lane, in Farlington, thinks the new service will be a nuisance.

He said: ‘I like to catch the bus because it is easy. I don’t like to get a taxi because I live too near for that, but I live too far to walk.

‘The bus was easy and convenient.’

Changes will also be made to the 1, 7, 8, X8, X9, 12, 17/18, 22/22A/22B, X40, X41, 43 and 649.

Marc Reddy, regional commercial and business growth director for First in the south west and Wales, said: ‘There are two types of changes that are being made.

‘There are changes to the services that we operate on behalf of the city council and there are changes that we are making to our own commercial services.’

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘We’ve had to reduce the subsidies we give to buses, but we’ve done this as carefully as possible, ensuring that all areas of the city have daytime services.

‘The previous 22 and 22A service to Sainsbury’s in Farlington was costing us £3.76 per passenger, every return trip. This was not sustainable.’

All changes can be found at firstgroup.com