Councillors make report on bus concerns in Gosport

People in Gosport have seen a number of changes to bus routes by First Bus in the past year
People in Gosport have seen a number of changes to bus routes by First Bus in the past year
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COUNCILLORS have spent time investigating bus changes and their impact on residents.

People living in Gosport have seen a number of changes to bus routes by First Bus in the past year.

Earlier this year, Gosport Borough Council set up a working group to share residents views with First Bus and Hampshire County Council.

At an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, a report was given which will be considered by the Policy Scrutiny and Overview Committee to see if it should be published.

Councillor Bob Forder, chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: ‘In the last few months, there have been an awful lot of changes to the bus service, especially with the introduction of the Eclipse bus.

‘People in the borough have voiced a lot of concerns so the council set up the group to investigate what was causing all the concerns.

‘We also felt that we should be better informed about the changes.’

In January, more changes will be made to Gosport services including the number 11, which goes from Fareham to Alverstoke via Brockhurst and Gosport, stopping on a Saturday.

The number 21, which goes from Fareham through Lee-on-the-Solent, Hill Head and Stubbington, will have a route change.

The changes come after cuts were made to First Bus by Hampshire County Council.

Cllr Forder added: ‘With all the changes, we just want to be voice for the residents.

‘At the council we want to be their champions. There is little we can do because we don’t control transport but we want to be doing something.’

Five formal meetings were held by the working group since it started in May. But members also spoke over the phone, through email and in informal meetings to help with the report.

Cllr Forder said: ‘Hampshire County Council and First Bus have been happy to talk to us about the changes.

‘The report hasn’t heavily criticised them and some of the changes, including the introduction of the Eclipse buses, have been very good.

‘But there are areas in the borough which do have less access like Lee-on-the-Solent.’

As previously reported in The News, people in Lee-on-the-Solent set up a petition in August against bus changes in the area. More than 500 people signed the petition organised by resident Sandra Juggins.