'One-way' bus service introduced in Wiltshire

A new bus service has been introduced in Wiltshire which, due to council cuts, is offering no return service.

The 87 bus timetable, released earlier in the month, offers three buses a day and one on Saturday from Winterslow, Wiltshire to Andover, Hampshire.

But with a limited return service and buses scheduled to leave before passengers arrive, residents say the route is effectively a one-way service.

Anne Riggs from Winterslow said "it would be better not to have it at all".

She said: "We've never had it before but when we found out that there was going to be a bus service to Andover - we thought wow, good a bit of variety.

"But with the new one-way service, we can board a bus and travel to Andover but there is no provision for getting us back."

The 87 bus route operates three buses a day from Winterslow arriving in Andover at 1040, 1240 and 1440. The return service leaves Andover at 0945 and at 1145.

The service on Saturday arrives in Andover at 1850 with a return service available at 0815.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said the route had been managed by Hampshire County Council but due to "budget restraints" had been about to be "entirely withdrawn"

The Conservative-led council said they had agreed to financially support and retain "a limited service" on the Salisbury to Andover route with bus operator Stagecoach

But the bus operator had been unable to provide "a later bus service".

The council said: "The route has been altered and now runs to Salisbury from The Wallops, Winsterslow and Firsdown using a Stagecoach bus between school journeys.

"Unfortunately Stagecoach was not able to provide a later bus service from Andover to Firsdown or Salisbury as the bus is required to operate elsewhere in Hampshire."

Andrew Dyer, MD at Stagecoach South, said the route was "wholly funded" by Wiltshire Council and that they set the timetable.

"This is a service we provide - operated under contract to Wiltshire Council," he said.

"As a supplier we give them a price to operate whatever timetable they want us to run."

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