South Gloucestershire Council has announced that the Conygre ward of Filton is to get its own volunteer-run bus service, thanks to the award of a £50,000 government grant.
The money, from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), has been awarded to the Southern Brooks Community Partnership (SBCP), which will use it to purchase a low-floor minibus.
The Conygre area has been without a regular bus service since First Group axed the 71/72 service in September 2011.
Writing about their grant application in a recent newsletter, SBCP said:
“There is an older demographic in this ward so dependence on public transport is high. To access mainstream services, Conygre residents have to climb Conygre Road, which would be more aptly named Conygre Hill. As a result, residents of all ages and ability have been left feeling isolated and less able to access community services such as the library or doctors surgery. Furthermore access to a variety of amenities including vegetable shops that sell fresh fruit and vegetables have become very difficult.”
Local South Gloucestershire councillors Roger Hutchinson, Adam Monk and Ian Scott welcomed the news, saying:
“We are really pleased that residents in the Conygre area will now have access to a much-needed bus service thanks to these funds. In our regular work in the community we have been made very aware that better public transport is very much needed, so we have promoted this scheme at every opportunity. We congratulate the Southern Brooks Community Partnership for this successful bid.”
The LSTF is a central government funded project running across the West of England to increase sustainable travel. A total of £600,000 funding has been allocated to support a range of projects across South Gloucestershire which have been suggested by communities, voluntary groups and schools. The maximum amount of funding that could be applied for was £50,000 for each single project, and a total of 18 individual projects have been awarded funds.
Cllr Brian Allinson, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee, said:
“This funding comes as welcome news and will further improve sustainable transport facilities in South Gloucestershire. This additional funding boost will deliver improved road safety around schools, better cycling facilities at a range of locations and adapted equipment for use by people with disabilities, providing a sustainable travel legacy for generations to come.”
Photo: Bus shelter in Church Road, unused for two years.