After a short but extremely energetic campaign South Bristol campaigners are celebrating saving the 51 bus service between Hengrove and the city centre.
An offer from Wessex to save the services, negotiated by local Liberal Democrat Councillors has been accepted by Bristol City Council.
There was huge public anger that First had abandoned the route and that the Council had failed to warn local Councillors and residents. Not only that, but the Council had planned to transfer the annual subsidy paid for some later-running buses on the 51 route to First's 50 route.
Along with residents and transport groups, the #Save51bus campaign was launched, with a petition attracting 3,500+ signatures, and a demo attracting over 100 people. Lib Dem Councillors in the Knowle and Hengrove and Whitchurch Park wards, Gary Hopkins, Tim Kent, Harriet Clough and Chris Davies, led efforts to save the service - including the successful negotiations with Wessex.
Hengrove and Whitchurch Park Councillor, Tim Kent said: "The offer was just too good even for this administration to refuse and we will get a more frequent and reliable daytime service with greater reliability and lower fares. After taking a couple of months to repair the damage done by First, Wessex expect to make a decent profit and will share that with local community groups."
Gary Hopkins, leader of the Lib Dem Council Group and Knowle ward Councillor said: “Because of earlier Council delays we had a very short time to organise and get the proposals into the Traffic Commissioner but local people and businesses have been magnificent in helping to get this result. The prospect of the Council debate on 13th September secured by the 3,500+ signature petition certainly seems to have helped to focus minds."