as cutbacks threaten 'vital' Burnham and Highbridge bus service
in the Burnham-On-Sea area have attacked Somerset County Council
proposals to axe a 'vital' bus service through the area.
cuts could come as the authority tries to adjust its budget with
an expected loss of 20% (£63million) from its current Government
funding by 2019.
service that's earmarked to be withdrawn is Service 113, which
runs from Highbridge to Berrow on five return journeys per day
and is operated by Hatch Green Coaches.
council's proposal is to remove the service, with a spokesman
saying: "Other public bus routes are available within walking
distance and a slinky service is also available in the area."
local resident Mike Wise, who is also Vice Chairman of Berrow
Parish Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: "This
local service is a vital lifeline for many local people."
would be a big step backwards to lose this service and I hope
that local people will tell the County Council during its consultation
to reconsider withdrawing this service."
service runs from Highbridge through Burnham to Berrow through
the day and is particularly punctual because it connects with
Highbridge Rail Station."
local service affected by the cutbacks is Service 67 which runs
from Burnham-On-Sea to Wookey Hole and is operated by Webberbus,
council's proposal is to withdraw its funding contribution, requiring
the service to be run on a fully commercial basis.
there are fears among users that this may reduce the viabilty
of the service.
County Council says services that have low passenger use or have
possible alternatives have been targeted for the reductions.
David Fothergill, cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
"Having to consider drastically reducing the councils
funding for bus services is incredibly tough and we do not take
it at all lightly."
have worked hard to protect this funding for as long as possible,
and it is a real and raw sign of the financial times that we face,
with increasingly more difficult decisions about the services
we can afford to provide."
urge anyone affected by these proposals to take part in these
consultations and have their say. All the results will be considered
before any decisions are made."
people holding concessionary bus passes could also feel the sting
of budget restraints if their benefits are cut. The county council
has proposed reducing the bus pass discount from 50% to 25% on
fares up to £5 single or £10 return.
find out more about the consultation, go to the councils
the proposed cutbacks affect you?