We need our bus link to Oldbury Court back

I WOULD like to add to the letter from Terry Stevens from Downend, (Voice, May) about bus services to Downend.

As a regular traveller on the once Number 5 and later 47 Bristol to Downend route, for the bus company to say the 47 was withdrawn due to lack of customers is a nonsense.

On numerous occasions, on boarding the vehicle, myself and many other passengers were told by the driver that the bus pass machine was not working.

This reduced the number of people that were recorded who used the bus; if the device did or did not function properly, only the bus company would know.

With eight buses per hour (unless cancelled) travelling along the Fishponds Road heading towards Downend or Staple Hill, surely at least one of these could enter Straits Parade, then travel through Oldbury Court and Overndale Road to Downend.

Several elderly people with no transport who reside on this route relied on this bus service for appointments and shopping – at present from time to time many will be walking in the rain.

Lez Dowse


This service is vital to us

AFTER sending an email to Dan Norris a while ago and not getting a reply to date, I am writing about the discontinued Downend bus that was originally the 5 then changed to the 47.

It’s a local service that is needed through Downend, Oldbury Court and on to Fishponds – it didn’t need to go out to Yate either.

Myself and several other local people that used this bus feel really upset to have lost out, a lot of us being elderly people and mums with prams.

To go shopping in Fishponds it’s a long slog to walk up Croomes Hill or along to the Straits to pick up the 48.

We can’t all get walking shoes on.

I appreciate there’s a driver shortage, but we really could do with this service back again – please, First Bus, bring it back ASAP. 

Julia Mccrae

Wake up and smell the roses

WELL, our last bank closed at the end of April. People now have to go to Kingswood to HSBC, so our customers will spend their money there instead of Downend.

Spending money on green screens, planters and seats is a waste of time.

This idea is not going to make people shop in Downend.

No banks equals less people – you can look up and down the road anytime of the day and only see a few.

Yes, the flowers that we have look good in summer but that isn’t going to make money for the shops that are left. The shop that made wedding cakes is now going to be flats. So surely money could be more wisely spent to help our local shops.

Perhaps try a monthly market? We have a free car park, and Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury do it.

The local shops need more support to keep going, not more planters, seats and the like.

Support your local shops before they all go! I for one shop locally.

We need our local shops, or soon there will be more seats than people.

Laura Rickards


You could be missing out 

A MESSAGE for anyone of pension age who is struggling financially: come forward – you could be missing out on up to £3,500 of pension credit, a benefit open to pensioners who are on a low income.

Energy bills are going up, even in spring. The £67 (energy bills support scheme) is stopping.

People of retirement age might be entitled to extra support through pension credit.

If you are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, come and see us. You might be entitled to pension credit and other things.

 It is unclaimed by so many people who might not realise they are entitled to extra money.

Too many people either try and cope with what they have or think they shouldn’t have to claim benefits.

The important part is ‘entitled to’ – there is a minimum amount the Government says you need to live on and if you are below that, you are entitled to have it topped up. People shouldn’t feel that they should be able to manage just on the pension they receive.

Nationally up to 850,000 pensioner households could claim the money but are not doing so, according to Government figures. This amounts to £1.5 billion worth of unclaimed pension credit each year across the country.

There are an estimated 4,000 unclaimed pension credits in South Gloucestershire.

To be eligible for pension credit, you must have reached state pension age, not have too much income or savings and live in the UK.

You can still be working, as long as your income isn’t too high. Unlike the state pension, you don’t need a National Insurance record.

To find out what you are entitled to, and for help making a claim, visit Citizens Advice face-to-face drop-in sessions in our Yate office on Mondays (4-6pm), Tuesdays (10am-3pm) and Fridays (10am-1pm), our outreach session at Emersons Green Village Hall every Thursday from 10am-noon, call 0808 278 7947 or visit southgloscab.org.uk.

Emmanuelle Claverie

Lead Supervisor

Citizens Advice South

Thanks for supporting RNLI

The Downend and Kingswood branch of the RNLI recently undertook a collection at Morrisons in Fishponds.  

We are pleased to inform you that we raised £271.89 and are very grateful to everyone who contributed.  Thanks also to Morrisons for letting us collect. 

The money raised will go towards saving lives at sea.

Antonette Bawdon