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People power wins more health centre buses for Frome Medical Centre

FIRST bus company has agreed to increase its bus service to Frome Medical Centre after the furore which met the company’s plans to reduce buses to the site.

Following the announcement and the following backlash, which was reported over the last few weeks in Frome Times, the bus company has looked again at its level of service provision.

When the £10.5million health centre was built, it was expected to have an increased bus service. However, local people and medical centre staff were dismayed to hear that instead, the First Bus company’s 161 service to the Frome hospital site was to be cut from every hour to every two hours.

Petition

A petition, which was started by staff at Frome Medical Centre, quickly attracted over 1,000 signatures in protest at the plans to cut the bus service to the busy health centre.

Senior partner of Frome Medical Practice, Dr Tina Merry told Frome Times, that the reduction in public transport to a major health facility that attracts more than 1,200 patients, relatives and visitors on a daily basis, was “simply not acceptable.”

Re-routing

Last week, representatives from Frome Town Council, Frome Medical Practice and Frome Public Transport Users Association met with Jon Barnard from First.

Now, First has announced that the bus company will be re-routing the 267 service to the health park by the end of October. In addition, there will be another meeting in early September to look at options on the 30 and 161 routes. Faresaver buses has also announced that the X34 service will call at the health park from late September.

Cllr Tricia Golinski said, “This is really good news. When the town council was first asked to look at this issue, the intention was to provide a better service to the health park and this is what will now be achieved. We understand there have been significant changes at First and welcome their desire to be more closely involved with local communities when looking at service provision.”

Wonderful news

The news will come as a welcome boost to the community and senior partner of Frome Medical Practice, Dr Tina Merry said, “Whilst it is my understanding that the final details are yet to be finalised, this is wonderful news for the people of Frome.

“I would wish to take this opportunity of thanking Jon Barnard from First Bus who took up our invitation to speak to us direct at the Health Centre. However, I am sure that none of this would have happened without the pressure of the local media and particularly our many patients who signed our ‘bus’ petition.

“This is all very encouraging and it is good to see common sense prevail.”

 

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