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89 Bus Update - Dawn Challenges First Bosses

Labour MP for Bristol South, Dawn Primarolo, has today met with the Managing Director of First Bus, to call on him to reinstate a bus service on Leinster Avenue in Knowle West. The 89 service was removed by First last year, and residents quickly set up a campaign group, The Knowle Go-Getters, to return a service to the area.

Dawn has been pursuing this issue with First since they withdrew the service. She has carried out two surveys with local people, many of whom who relied on the 89. Residents have told her that they are now unable to get out on their own. Many of those residents who do have cars no longer use the bus, with walks of up to twenty minutes to the nearest stop. That has meant that pensioners who had previously used their bus passes, now have to fork out for petrol or even taxis.

Following the meeting with First boss Justin Davies, which was also attended by local resident Lynda Caple, who set up The Knowle Go-Getters, Dawn said:

"I was pleased to meet with Justin to discuss the bus service in Knowle West. It is important that First realise that buses are absolutely vital for so many people – I have had letters from residents who have been left housebound by these changes. Thanks to the Go-Getters tireless hard work, we’ve now managed to get First around the table to explain to them the very real effect their changes have had on people’s lives.

I will continue to work with residents in Knowle West to find a solution to this problem. The bus company has been promising to look into this for some time. By meeting with me, and hearing first-hand from Lynda, I think that First now realises the scale of the problem. I hope that they will now take some positive action."

[26/8/09]

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