OVERJOYED residents on a Merley housing estate turned out in force to celebrate a new bus service linking them with Wimborne and Bournemouth.
Yellow Buses’ new route 4d runs along Sopwith Crescent in Merley. The road lost its bus service five years ago when another operator pulled out.
The move prompted protests, including a petition, from residents who claimed that the elderly, in particular, would be isolated.
The return of a regular Monday to Saturday service – now provided by Yellow Buses – has led to jubilation from residents who campaigned in 2006 for a bus link to be maintained.
One of them, Beryl Groves, 83, said: “I’m absolutely elated. We can’t thank Yellow Buses enough for starting this new service.”
John Taylor, Leader of the Lantern Church’s Mixed Blessings group for the active retired, said members were “very pleased” to see Sopwith Crescent served again by a regular bus service.
“It will mean a lot to people in this area and be very convenient for our members,” he added.
Merley’s local councillors have also welcomed the new service.
Cllr David Brown said he was “overjoyed” and predicted the 4d will be popular while Cllr Peter Maiden described the service as “absolutely fantastic.”
Marc West, Yellow Buses’ Planning & Schedules Manager, said: “As with any service, it needs people to vote with their feet and use it. However we’ve been very encouraged by early response to the route which further strengthens our presence in East Dorset.”
The new Monday to Saturday daytime hourly service follows a route which includes Wimborne Square, Merley, Canford Park Arena, Bearwood, Bear Cross, Kinson, Moordown, Winton, Bournemouth railway station and Bournemouth Square.
Timetables and maps are available to download on the Yellow Buses’ website at www.bybus.co.uk