over council's plan to axe 'vital' Burnham to Weston bus service
users and councillors in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week
reacted with anger to the news that a 'vital' service is set to
Somerset County Council has announced that it plans to withdraw
the 102 service which runs from Bridgwater to Weston-super-Mare
via Burnham, Highbridge, Brent Knoll, East Huntspill and East
Brent, as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
council says it "wants to improve efficiency and value for
money for the tax payer." If approved, the service will be
axed from May 2015.
Users have been urged to have their say on the controversial
changes during a consultation period that runs until 29th December.
Highbridge councillor Cllr Chris Williams, pictured, told
Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It would be a blow to lose this service
- cuts like this are unwelcome."
"I would urge all those affected by the proposed withdrawl
of the 102 service to respond to the consultation. When the 113
bus service was threatened three years ago a 570-signature petition
managed to get it retained."
"Year by year we are seeing public transport reduced below
an acceptable minimum. The 'slinky' service, funded at its present
level, may be unable to respond satisfactorily."
an alternative route between Weston and Burnham and Highbridge
will remain, some villages north of Burnham will end up with no
service whatsoever and these parish councils and current service
users also need to make their views known as soon as possible."
However, Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council's Cabinet
Member for Transport, defended the plans.
He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The ongoing and harsh reality
we face as a County Council is that our Central Government funding
to run local services is being reduced, which leaves us no option
but to review all our services."
"These plans are about making our supported bus services
more effective, particularly where there are currently low levels
of passenger use."
"We need as many people as possible who use these bus services
to come forward and have their say before the consultation closes
on Monday 29 December."
The results of the consultation will be presented to Somerset
County Councils Cabinet to assist them in making a final
decision on any service changes to be introduced in May 2015.
Readers can complete the consultation online here
or can receive a hard copy by calling the council direct on 0845
Pictured: A map showing the route of the 102 bus service which
is in jeopardy and, top, Cllr Chris Williams who is keen to see