MP hits out at bus company over routes

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CHANGES to bus routes that come into effect from tomorrow in Gosport have been criticised by the town’s MP.

Caroline Dinenage has written to management at First Bus after Gosport residents raised concerns over the overhauled bus services.

As previously reported in The News, passengers from across the area have been angered by the plans from First Bus, which will see services completely changed in Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant and Fareham. Ms Dinenage said residents have particularly complained about the new number 9 service in Jellicoe Avenue, which now only stops off at Gosport War Memorial Hospital every hour, instead of every half hour. It also no longer goes along Stoke Road.

‘We don’t have that many options in Gosport. We’re a peninsula and we’ve got no railway. We’re the second largest town in Europe without one,’ said Ms Dinenage.

‘It’s well documented how congested the roads are and we’ve got a quite high elderly and retired population. People are more reliant on the buses here than anywhere.

‘In some cases bus routes are being chopped altogether and it’s effectively taking away a lifeline.’

First recently announced several changes to the original plans, including a detour in the 8.12am and 3.15pm service of the number 9 and 9A to include Bay House School. Spokeswoman for the firm Karen Baxter said this service will still serve Gosport well.

‘It will call at Jellicoe Avenue once an hour in both directions, providing connections to Gosport and Fareham,’ she said.

‘From Gosport, customers can pick up a number of other services, and can also choose whether to take the service 9 journey via Jellicoe Avenue, or an alternate Service 9 operating via the War Memorial Hospital.’

The firm said it would review feedback from bus users about the overhaul, which was designed to increase usage across the area.