GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council have expressed dismay that Stagecoach have registered intent with the Traffic Commissioner to cancel or change bus services across the county.
It comes after months of disruption to the county’s bus services and could leave rural communities isolated.
Stagecoach will make route changes to services across Gloucestershire including the 58 service in Cirencester which will come into effect in November.
The 58 service currently goes from Stratton to Chesterton and The Beeches and stops at Cirencester Tesco as well as Cirencester Hospital.
It is planned to be completely withdrawn from November 27.
Most of the other services that are affected are in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Cinderford and Coleford.
The routes deliver an estimated 300,000 journeys a year and will prevent people from travelling to work, school, hospital appointments and leisure activities.
The county council says they have worked tirelessly to try and ensure this didn’t happen by attempting to work in partnership with Stagecoach.
They say they are still working hard to find alternative providers for the bus services being cancelled.
But council is warning that it is a difficult market in which to find replacement operators.
Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member for education, skills and bus transport, said: “I am hugely disappointed that Stagecoach have placed commercial interests over the needs of many of their customers in rural communities.
“We have attempted to work with the company for a long time to try and ensure that this did not happen, but the day we feared has sadly come.
“Reinstating the cancelled routes with new providers is a priority for us but this is a very challenging and difficult market and while we will make every effort to find alternatives this will be a far from easy path.
“We have also taken the very serious decision to report Stagecoach to the Traffic Commissioner. We will provide regular updates to residents on our progress.”
GCC provides Stagecoach and other bus providers with £10 million a year of funding for subsidised routes and reimbursement for use of the concessionary fares bus pass.
Additionally, during the pandemic Gloucestershire bus providers were bailed out by a £1.4 million government package.
Although this is not a consultation process, you can provide your feedback on the changes online here or by calling 01452 583638.
Service to change from November 20
- Service 24: (Gloucester – Coleford – Chepstow) Coleford to Chepstow withdrawn
- Service 24: (Gloucester – Cinderford – Coleford) New registration of a Gloucester-Cinderford-Coleford service
- Service 25: (Mitcheldean – Cinderford – Coleford) Withdrawn, some sections of the route replaced by the new 24 service
- Service 27: Cinderford – Park End – Lydney) Subsidised 27 withdrawn, commercial 827 retained
- Service 710: (Cinderford town service) Withdrawn
- Service 748: (Westbury – Blaisdon) Withdrawn
- Service 755: (Lydney town service) Withdrawn
- Service 761: (Beachley – Sedbury – Chepstow) Withdrawn
Service to change from November 27
- Service A: (Cheltenham Prestbury – Benhall) Change – reduced frequency from earlier in the evening
- Service B: (Charlton Kings – Cheltenham) Change
- Service C: (Springbank – Cheltenham) Change
- Service D/E: (Bishops Cleeve – Cheltenham) D improved, E withdrawn
- Service F: (Leckhampton – Cheltenham – Hesters Way) Commercial Monday-Friday changes, weekend subsidised service retained until February 19
- Service H: (Kingsditch – Cheltenham) Minor changes
- Service 58: (Cirencester Town Service) Withdrawn
- Service 93: (Arle Court Park and Ride Service) Withdrawn
- Service 94: (Cheltenham-Gloucester) Removed from Arle Court
Service to change from February 19
- Service K: (Benhall – Up Hatherley – Cheltenham) Withdrawn
- Service F: (Leckhampton – Cheltenham – Weekend) subsidised service withdrawn