The X27 bus service is to be extended for the long-term after a successful ‘Use It’ campaign.
As part of an initial council-funded 6 month extension, South Gloucestershire Council has been running a high-profile ‘Use It’ campaign since May to build up patronage on the X27 service in an effort to maintain an important bus link between the communities of North Yate, Iron Acton, Winterbourne and Bristol.
The ‘Use It’ campaign has led to a huge leap in passenger numbers, which has justified the long-term extension of the service.
‘Use It’ initiatives have included door-to-door mailings, a dedicated webpage, free tickets and chances to win a shopping spree.
The Council’s approach with the X27 is in contrast to the approach taken in 2002 when Thornbury’s only express bus service was withdrawn with no significant ‘use it’ campaign.
Cllr Brian Allinson, South Gloucestershire’s Conservative transport chief since 2007, said:
“The Council’s extensive and high profile X27 ‘use it’ campaign has been a first for the district and is evidence of our commitment to promoting public transport alternatives for our residents.
It is clear that our various ‘use it’ initiatives have encouraged a great many more people to use what is a much-needed service, which is remarkable when you consider that the recession has led to an overall reduction in bus use.
These extra passengers add to those many residents who already depended on the service and have allowed us to extend the service for the long-term.
We have been encouraged by the many positive comments from local residents about the council’s efforts to promote the service and would like to thank them for their ongoing support and hope that they will encourage more of their friends and family to use the service as we go into the future.”
“Our action over the last few months to try and maintain the only express service from North Yate all the way to Bristol’s city centre is in stark contrast to inaction of the Liberal Democrats who largely stood back as Thornbury had its only express bus service withdrawn in 2002.”
Conservative councillors for Winterbourne, Allan Higgs and John Godwin added:
“The X27 provides a very convenient link for residents in Winterbourne wanting to travel by public transport either to Bristol or Yate in the quickest amount of time, which encourages many of them to leave their cars at home.
Many residents will be pleased with the success of the Council’s ‘use it’ campaign – not least those who rely on the service to get to school, their place of work or do their shopping.”
Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council