1b along Christchurch High Street (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/9248731571/)
1b along Christchurch High Street (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/9248731571/)

The state of Yellow Buses in Christchurch has been lacking for a few years but recently the service has been getting progressively worse and residents are noticing. Many of the vital services have been removed from the more difficult to reach areas, this issue becomes increasingly problematic when you consider that the population of Christchurch has a high elderly ratio. This also makes travelling around the area difficult for those who are disabled.

We have been hearing complaints from local residents over the demise of the old 4a route towards Hurn, this underlines the abysmal handling of Yellow Buses by the RATP Group and their desire to acquire profit rather than create a service that is in touch with the growing needs of Christchurch and the links between Bournemouth and in particular the airport. We understand that residents and people visiting the area will have to catch several different buses just to be able to travel to Christchurch from the airport.

Recent timetable changes for the winter also means that the 1b service only goes as far as Two Riversmeet on Saturdays, we are completely aware that this will have a profound affect on residents who are either elderly or disabled. There will be less routes going towards the estate during one of the busiest days of the week and forcing vulnerable people to walk a considerable distance, especially if they are carrying shopping or heavier items. The issue itself wouldn’t be as bad if there was a good service across 1/1c, 1a and 1b but this is not the case, thus stopping the 1b service at Two Riversmeet on Saturdays is only going to cause stress to local residents.

Furthermore, we are also aware that there used to be the old R4 service that travelled through Stanpit and Mudeford but the removal of this service disproportionately affects the more elderly residents who find it difficult to travel. However, it also means that It restricts younger residents who may not drive and puts off people from moving to the area due restrictions in accessibility; being able to easily and frequently travel into Bournemouth attracts people to the area.

We also understand that residents of Burton were highly disappointed and vowed to fight on when the 24 was axed back in 2016 and since then there has been no frequent service, only a reduced service Morebus that runs hourly from 9.18am until 2.18pm. This severely restricts access for those who are unable to drive or find it difficult to get around, especially at weekends when there is no service to Burton on Saturdays or Sundays.

We also believe that RATP Group have shown themselves to be completely out of touch with the resident’s feelings on this issue as well as completely out of touch with the growing needs of Christchurch. There 500 extra houses proposed to be built within Christchurch and this will only add to the severe congestion that Christchurch suffers from, with traffic regularly at a standstill, it is paramount that a high-quality public transport network is operated within the area.

The service as a whole seems to be badly run, with buses running regularly late and no-one willing to take responsibility and we bemoan the lack of accountability from Christchurch council over the issue. We are concerned that the residents aren’t getting the services that they deserve, and the continued removal of vital services will only deepen the negative public image of Yellow Buses alongside a detrimental impact upon Christchurch as a whole.

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