Burnham-On-Sea bus service saved from the axe
who have been fighting to save a threatened Burnham-On-Sea bus
service from the axe have this week welcomed a decision by Somerset
County Council to partially retain the service.
a meeting this week, the County Council said it had listened to
hundreds of residents across Burnham and Highbridge who have signed
a petition calling for a re-think on controversial money-saving
proposals to scrap the 113 bus service, which runs from Berrow
to Highbridge station, passing through several large estates in
Burnham as well as both doctors surgeries.
first reported here
that more than 540 people had signed a petition calling on the
council not to axe funding for the service.
week, the council's cabinet fully considered the consultation
responses and decided to continue funding the 113 bus service,
apart from on Saturdays.
and Highbridge town councillor Chris Williams, who has campaigned
against the cuts, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I am very, very
pleased that SCC has listened to the views of over 540 residents
who signed the petition to retain the service. Thanks also go
to our two County Councillors - John Woodman and Peter Burridge-Clayton
- who have been working away behind the scenes, and to the very
helpful staff at both SCC and Hatch Green Coaches."
present, we have had to lose the Saturday service. We are still
negotiating to see whether a morning-only service on Saturdays
might be possible with a little local subsidy but this is at a
very early stage and may be discussed at next week's Town Council
meeting. Obviously, there can be no promises. This has been a
really good example of the community and Town Council working
together to safeguard services."
fellow town councillor Helen Groves added: "This is absolutely
fantastic news and a real victory for the people of the area whilst
appreciating the difficult financial climate. It is vital to our
communities that services such as the 113 are protected since
while they may not be profitable they do provide an essential
service to some of the most vunerable members of our society."
this service been withdrawn, it could have had a serious negative
impact on health and wellbeing. I am very pleased to note that
the County Council has listened to the huge public response to
this proposal and acted accordingly."
County Council revealed this week that plans to scrap the 113
service which serves Highbridge and Burnham attracted 210 questionnaire
responses during its consultation period.
County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Harvey Siggs,
said: "We have talked to bus operators and bus passengers.
We have always said this was about listening and have taken action
where we can to help out. We have gone back to the budgets and
found some areas where we can use money more flexibly to invest
The County Council is not, however, re-considering its decision
to withdraw funding for Burnham's evening Route 21 service, which
goes to Taunton and Bridgwater.
total of 1,400 questionnaire responses, plus 148 letters and emails
were received during the council's consultation period, as well
as many telephone enquiries. The council is seeking to achieve
£1.53m of cost savings in supported bus service across the