Published: February 7, 2012
540 residents sign petition to save threatened Burnham bus service

Hopes of saving a popular Burnham and Highbridge bus service from the axe have been given a boost this week after hundreds of local people demanded the County Council re-think the plans.

Town councillor Chris Williams, pictured, told on Monday that over 540 people have signed a petition calling on Somerset County Council not to cut funding for the popular 113 bus service, which stops at doctors surgeries in Burnham and Highbridge, plus Burnham Hospital and schools.

As first reported here, the 113 service has been earmarked to be axed by the cash-strapped County Council, which is also considering withdrawing funding for Burnham's evening Route 21 service, which runs to Taunton and Bridgwater.

Speaking at Monday's Town Council meeting, Cllr Williams said: "I am very pleased by the response from local people - we have had a good response to the petition and during the county council's consultation period, five times as many people complained about the plans to halt the 113 service as any other route."

"I just fear that it may not make much difference to the County Council and it will go ahead with the cuts. We are due to find out in the middle of February which services will be cut."

Burnham County Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton told that he is campaigning for the County Council to reconsider the plans.

"I can fully understand the concerns about the 113 service. I am representing the interests of Burnham and Highbridge residents and ensuring their views are heard."

"Unfortunately, some cuts will need to be made and we will find out later this month which of the services are to be reduced."

Last year, County Council Cabinet Member Harvey Siggs explained the reason for the cuts: "It is a hugely difficult decision, but we just do not have the finances to keep subsidising services as we do. A reduction in funding from the Government has meant that the authority has had to review how it supports bus services and subsidies can be as much as £11 per passenger on some routes."


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