A GROUP of older residents have launched a petition to oppose bus cuts in the area.

B&NES Council Radstock Councillor Eleanor Jackson said: “Readers may be surprised to see older residents brandishing clipboards and sheets of A4 paper in a manner reminiscent of old fashioned election campaigning, but these are the OAPs who will suffer from the loss of bus services – about 100-140 a day on the 82, not to mention the secondary school children in Midsomer Norton.

“Thirty to 40 people, minimum, use the bus to get home to Paulton every day.”

Now they are launching a petition calling for the return of services.

The petition states: “We, the undersigned residents of Bath and North East Somerset and/or regular users of the supported bus services from neighbouring villages in Somerset, petition the authority to reconsider the decision to withdraw the subsidy for the 82 Tyning, Radstock-Paulton via Westfield and Paulton Hospital service and find means of funding it, and to restore the 42 Odd Down to the RUH. Because: The elderly, disabled and those on low incomes are disproportionately affected, and have no alternatives so will be condemned to loneliness and isolation; Schoolchildren will not be able to travel independently to Midsomer Norton secondary schools; Waiting for the no 4 (RUH) often means ill people standing for 20-30 minutes due to jams in Weston; NE Somerset residents are being discriminated against; There is a climate emergency; Using public transport reduces B&NES carbon footprint.”

Cllr Jackson, who is seeking re-election for Labour, said: “We hope to get the petition online very soon, but we cannot present it to Council until after the election on May 4th, which may produce a very different administration from those who are happy to subsidise buses in Bath, but refuse to do the same for North East Somerset.”

Cllr Jackson added: “It is all very similar to the ‘ghost’ buses – flagged on the no 4 ‘real time’ timetable board, which are signalled as ‘due’ but never appear.”