The councillor in charge of Bristol transport is claiming a partial victory in his battle to ensure bank holiday bus services in the south of the city are maintained.
Cllr Tim Kent yesterday praised First for agreeing to run services 20, 36 and 51 over the Diamond Jubilee bank holidays next month.
The Liberal Democrat said earlier this month he was considering taking responsibility for bus transport in the city, after First withdrew the three services in Whitchurch, Hengrove and Knowle over the Easter and May Day bank holiday.
An angry Cllr Kent said he was fed up with the way First made big profits in the city but did not provide services when they were needed.
First had said the there was no point in running the services because they were not viable on a bank holiday – but they were happy to do so if the council chose to subsidise them.
But the bus firm has agreed to reinstate the services for the Jubilee holidays on June 4 and 5, following meetings with Cllr Kent and Bristol City Council.
“I am delighted that, following talks, First have registered the two services for June,” said Cllr Kent. “I have been clear with First that we strongly feel they must change their business model and look to embrace long-term growth rather than
making penny-pinching cuts to services.
“As an administration we are exploring the option of quality contracts, which would give us far more regulatory powers over the bus network.
“This move by First is, though, a very positive one and we welcome their co-operation.”
A council spokesman said talks will continue between First Bus and Bristol City Council about a permanent agreement over bank holiday services.