Published: December 17, 2013
Dozens voice concern over 'unacceptable' bus service in Burnham area

Dozens of irate residents have attended a public meeting to voice their concerns about 'unacceptable' problems with bus services in the Burnham-On-Sea area.

Concerns regarding services from Burnham to Weston were raised during a packed public meeting held in Brean Village Hall at the weekend, which was also attended by Burnham's MP Tessa Munt and three senior staff from First Bus.

The MP chaired a lively exchange between the 60 residents who questioned recent changes and quizzed the managers on a variety of concerns for over an hour and a half.

They asked about short-notice changes to timetables which affect students and pensioners alike, high fares charged for journeys between Burnham, Brean and Weston - which it was claimed are amongst the most expensive in the country - and cuts to peak-time services in September and March, when the area is busy with tourists.

Several would-be passengers also claimed that First Bus drivers regularly don't stop to allow them onboard, leaving them standing at the bus stop for up to two hours.

After the meeting, Tessa Munt told "It’s completely unacceptable that passengers are left at the roadside, that bus drivers can’t advise or direct passengers because they don’t know the areas in which they are sent to work, and that in an area which is so dependent on tourism, public transport does not reflect the needs of local businesses and the local residents who work with them."

"I expect to hear from the bus company within the next few days, at which time I will write to all those who attended the meeting and any others who expressed an interest in knowing what will happen next. I’m pleased to have had a chance to try to improve local services."

She added: "Several residents of Brean, Lympsham and Berrow, and Joan Jackman of Brean Parish Council raised problems about local bus services with me during my village surgeries. I am pleased that First Bus sent three of its senior staff to listen to local people. It was clear from their responses that First Bus recognises it has to make significant improvements."

The firm has agreed to meet with residents again in six months' time to review the company's progress.


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