Plymouth residents furious after Citybus service scrapped

Residents in Compton say it’s ‘disgusting’ the number 27 Plymouth Citybus service has been removed on Saturdays. It comes after five of the city’s worst performing bus routes were axed completely in November.

The decision was made by Plymouth City Council’s cabinet after they discussed proposals to address the £37.6 million budget gap. The report set out a range of proposals that would reduce costs by £26.2 million to help enable the council to fulfil its statutory duty to set a balanced budget.

Councillors were told that retaining all 14 of the ‘non-commercial’ routes within the city could cost up to £1m a year. Given the severe financial pressures the authority is under, the meeting on Thursday heard that this was simply not affordable and therefore tough decisions had to be made.

Members were presented with six options as to how many of the 14 routes to save. They unanimously agreed to save nine routes, but it meant that five routes would no longer operate. The number 27 was one route to be saved but it meant the service would be reduced to only run Monday to Friday, and Plymouth Citybus say this is because ‘it is no longer funded’. This decision has not gone down well with locals.

Speaking to PlymouthLive, local resident Edie said many people in the area relied on the Saturday bus service and there was now no other option, because she can’t afford to take a taxi each time she needs to go into town.

She said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting because there are loads of people around here who rely on those buses but if we can’t get one for the weekend then we’ve had it. To get a bus on a Saturday into town we have to walk all the way up to Torridge Way and I think that’s a bit off when we have a perfectly good bus stop over there.

plymouth residents furious after citybus service scrapped

Residents of Spire Court and Blandford Road say they rely on the Saturday service

“There is no other option because we can’t afford a taxi all the time because that’s the only other thing we can get. All we want is a service on a Saturday, Monday to Saturday would be ideal.”

Fellow Compton resident Angela Ward added: “We have a very limited bus service. They’ve taken away the Saturday service and we have disabled people living here and those who can’t breathe properly. It means they can’t walk large distances and it’s all uphill, it’s all hills. We’re aiming for a more regular bus service Monday to Saturday.

“I mean, I can walk up hills but it does hurt me because I’ve got a bad back. It means I have to walk to Mannamead bus stop to get into town and it’s just not on.”

plymouth residents furious after citybus service scrapped

Residents of Spire Court and Blandford Road say they rely on the Saturday service

In November, Cllr Drean explained the decision to axe certain routes and also reduce others. He said: “We face huge financial challenges. The tender returns would have resulted in nearly £1m to be found to retain all the existing routes. It is simply not affordable and many of the routes require high subsidies due to the low overall patronage.

“My job is to protect as many of the non-commercial routes as possible. This retains nine of the 14 routes and important bus connections for important communities across the city.”

PlymouthLive has contacted Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Citybus for comment.

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