DEMONSTRATORS took to the streets over the weekend in a campaign bus as they battled to save a Southampton respite centre.

The group of protesters rode on the double-decker bus on Saturday in a last ditch attempt to convince Southampton City Council not to axe the “vital” Kentish Road Respite Centre in Shirley to save £300,000 a year.

Driving around the city centre, the vehicle was adorned with posters claiming service users have not had their views heard by city chiefs.

Amanda Guest, whose daughter Victoria regularly uses Kentish Road, said: “The main aim of the campaign was that the service users have not lawfully been listened to.”

Talking about the protest, she added: “I have to say it grabbed everyone’s attention. It did the job that it needed to do. It was a good way for us to raise the bar with our campaign.

“We were approached by a lot of people who lad seen us in the press and wanted to know what was happening next – they wanted updates.”

Alongside the bus, donated by Eastleigh based company Xelabus, the protestors created cut-out pictures of service users with tape slapped over their mouths.

However, the demonstration did not received universal support.

Before the event, a council spokesperson said: “The very limited information received about the proposed event suggests that we would not be able to guarantee that the right steps had been taken to safeguard participants or those being cared for at Kentish Road.

“We have therefore not given our permission for the proposed event to go ahead on council land.”

Civic chiefs are set to reconsider the centre’s fate on November 14. The eight-bed unit caters for adults with learning disabilities, giving carers a much-needed break.