A BUS user has given his backing to a change of a bus service that operates between Cirencester and Cheltenham.

From last week, Stagecoach has extended its number 51 bus service, so it runs late in the evenings and on Sundays.

Steve Morton, who has used the 51 bus service to get to his work at the Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust in Cheltenham for 30 months, is delighted with the new service.

He said after using the service for the first time: “This morning, just after 8.07am, the 51 bus that takes us workers from Cirencester to Cheltenham was a real treat. With air conditioning , free wi-fi and a 2014 registered double decker, what more could commuters wish for?Stagecoach deserve a round of applause for upgrading their fleet and making the busconnection between two great Gloucestershire towns a serious option to taking the car.A quick look at the new timetable reveals that there are even extra buses in the evening,making it possible for Cirencester residents to enjoy either a film or maybe one of the evening festival events in Cheltenham.”

Paul Hodgkinson, leader of the Cotswold District Council, Liberal Democrats, said he was pleased that after campaigning for years for the service to be extended it has now happened.

He said: “I've been campaigning for a better bus service between Cirencester and Cheltenham for the last few years.

“I've had many people asking me about the possibility of getting an extended service. This news means that residents can now spend the evening in Cheltenham and travel between the two towns on Sundays.”

Workers can also extend their day too, knowing that they can still get the bus home. Villagers in places like North Cerney can now travel to Cirencester in the evenings.”

The cllr added that he was opposed to Stagecoach cutting back Cirencester’s main bus services, the number 58 and 59, because it could not afford to run them.

He said he would be “lobbying” Gloucestershire County Council to subsidise the services.