over planned axe of 'crucial' Burnham-On-Sea bus services
Somerset County Council has angered bus users in Burnham and Highbridge
this week by announcing that two 'crucial' services in the towns
may soon be axed.
As part of a raft of financial cutbacks under consideration by
the council, the popular 113 bus service, which stops at doctors
surgeries in Burnham and Highbridge, plus Burnham Hospital and
local schools, has been earmarked to lose all funding.
And the County Council is also considering withdrawing funding
for Burnham's evening route 21 service, which goes to Taunton
Angry Burnham and Highbridge town councillor Chris Williams,
pictured above, told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Tuesday (December 13th):
"It's a disgrace that funding for these essential services
could be withdrawn."
"The 113 service provides a lifeline for many local people
- including the elderly, disabled, care workers and young families
who visit the doctor surgeries."
added: "Stopping the evening bus services to Taunton and
Bridgwater would also be hugely disruptive."
Somerset County Council cabinet member Cllr Harvey Siggs told
Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It is a hugely difficult decision, but
we just will not have the finances to keep subsidising services
as we do."
"Subsidies can be as much as £11 per passenger on
some routes. There will still be an extensive bus service in Somerset
with specialised services for the elderly and vulnerable, vital
links to education and health, and no changes to the most popular
and important routes on the network."
The proposed cuts to the Burnham services are on its 'preferred
option' of three cash-saving proposals under consideration, as
outlined in a document here.
The council has launched a public consultation on the plans,
which runs for five weeks until January 17th.
The results will be reviewed by a Bus Service Review Task and
Finish Group early next year with a final decision expected to
be made by the County Council in February 2012.
For full details of the consultation and to submit your comments,
or call 0845 345 9155 to have a survey posted to you.