We went to a barbecue at the weekend and while we were there one of my friends mentioned that the buses which run to the local hospital were being axed as the council had pulled their funding. This is an old story and one that living here you get used to.
We live in a part of Bristol which is always first on the chopping board for cuts, we are far enough out for the council to not care. Other areas of Bristol regularly get cash injections, have wonderful transport links, and have great people looking out for them.
One of the biggest problems in this area is people here aren’t as invested in politically, it’s low income, high unemployment and people get preyed on for that.
So the latest hit is we lose our vital transport links to the hospital. Being council funded they were affordable as well as regular and quick. They will leave us with an hourly service run by First, this will take twice as long to get to the hospital and cost almost twice as much. This isn’t good for an area where people have very little money.
The other services went around a lot of side streets aswell, as an example it went down side streets near my Mum’s house. My Mum can’t walk far but could make it to this bus stop, it allowed her to maintain some independence getting to her hospital appointments on her own. Without this service she will have to book the ambulance transfer or my Dad will have to take an unpaid day from work to take her.
I have a friend who was taking her baby to swimming lessons near to the hospital, without this service she can’t afford to do it anymore because the cost of the other bus pushes it outside of her budget.
This change affects real people’s lives, financially and otherwise. It will have mental health impacts in how people feel about their independence being taken.
I have started a petition to the Bristol Mayor encouraging him to reinstate the funding for these services please go and sign the petition and support this community.