January 4, 2015
Consultation ends today on plans to axe Burnham's bus service

A consultation period on controversial plans to axe a 'vital' service through Burnham-On-Sea and local villages is set to end today (Sunday).

Local bus users have until 11.59pm this evening to provide their feedback online here on the unpopular cost-cutting plans.

Somerset County Council first announced in November 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.

The 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 Sunday January 4th, 2015.

Highbridge councillor Cllr Chris Williams, pictured, told "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."

"Although 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."

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, defended the plans. He told "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."

The results of the consultation will be presented to Somerset County Council’s 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 3459 155.

Pictured: Above, Cllr Chris Williams who is keen to see the service saved

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