QA staff worry about getting to work after bus route changes

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CHANGES to bus timetables have led to some staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital becoming concerned they will not be able to get to work on time.

As reported, First bus is making major changes to most of its routes in the Portsmouth area.

The issue was raised at a Portsmouth City Council health, overview and scrutiny panel meeting.

Glen Hewlett is director of development estates for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA.

At the meeting he said staff have started a petition voicing concerns the new bus routes will make it harder to get to work in time to cover certain shifts, such as Sunday mornings.

He said: ‘We encourage our staff to use more public transport, including buses.

‘We sell First bus tickets to our staff and negotiate discounts so they can come into work.

‘Staff are really concerned they are being driven to use other forms of transport.

‘They have tried to get in contact with the bus company, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

‘I’ve had 73 signatures handed in to me so far.’

Changes to the route come into effect on Sunday, November 18.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘The response has been understandably mixed.

‘There are people who have raised concerns and we have understood these.

‘In many cases we have been able to allay people’s fears by sharing copies of the new network maps, which have helped people understand where the new routes go.

‘We would encourage people to reserve judgment until they’ve had a chance to use the new network.’

Roadshows to provide information are being held at the following locations:

n Thursday, November 1, Commercial Road, Portsmouth, from 9am to 4pm.

n Friday, November 2, podium bandstand, Fareham, from 9am to 5pm.

n Saturday, November 3, Commercial Road, Portsmouth, from 9am to 4pm.

Unmanned displays will also offer information throughout the week in Portsmouth Central Library, Southsea Library, the Gosport Ferry Terminal, and First Travel shops at The Hard in Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham.