RESIDENTS in a Basingstoke suburb have expressed anger at the frequency of a bus service after major changes to the network were launched in the borough.
As previously reported in The Gazette, operator Stagecoach introduced a shake-up to the bus routes across the borough on February 16.
But many communities have complained that the changes have left them with less frequent buses, or cut them off completely.
Residents in Hatch Warren are the latest to express their anger that the alterations have left them worse off.
The area is now served by the Jazz 12 bus which operates an hourly service Monday to Saturday. Before the changes, buses ran every 12 minutes from Monday to Saturday, linking Hatch Warren with Brighton Hill.
Great-grandmother Jackie Riches has been affected by the route changes. The 74-year-old, of Woodbury Road, Hatch Warren, told The Gazette: “It is unbelievable the trouble they have caused up here in Hatch Warren.
“I am a patient at the Gillies Health Centre, in Brighton Hill, and I have to wait an hour to get there and if I get stuck there, I have to wait an hour before I get home. It is ridiculous.”
Councillor Terri Reid, Conservative borough councillor for Hatch Warren and Beggarwood, said: “I am really concerned for my vulnerable residents, the young people who can’t get to school, and mums who rely on the service.
“I have to say that letters about the changes are the biggest postbag I have had since I have been a councillor. I have been talking with Cathy Osselton (cabinet member for partnerships at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council), and we are trying to look at anything we can do to help.”
Andrew Dyer, managing director for Stagecoach South, told The Gazette: “We have probably done the most wide-ranging bus network change in Basingstoke since we did a big change in 2011.
“This change follows a big review. We have looked at passengers using different bus routes, and we have tried to change the bus network to benefit the majority.”