December 5, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea bus service looks set to end from December 31st

A long-running Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge bus service is set be axed at the end of the year unless local users force a last-minute re-think by Somerset County Council.

Service 67 - which runs through Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge to Wookey Hole and was previously operated by the now-defunct firm WebberBus - is set to be withdrawn.

As first reported here in October, an emergency contract was put in place by the County Council with Bakers Dolpin following the demise of WebberBus to keep the service running.

However, that contract expired at the end of November and a further, final extension is in place only until December 31st.

The council says that due to "financial challenges" it will not be able to extend the emergency contract beyond then, meaning the service will cease to operate after December 31st.

But one user, Racheal Cotton, told this week: "This is a vital bus service for many so I would urge people to write to the council, supporting its value to them, their family and friends."

Feedback can be sent to Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, at County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.

Tom Main, public transport manager from Transporting Somerset at SCC, said: "We are holding a consultation for the passengers who use this service, we hope to be able to gather data on where the demand is across this route which may enable us to look at smaller and more sustainable solutions for some areas affected by this service withdrawal."

The council says no bus operators have expresed an interest in taking on the 67 service. "We have done our best but unfortunately no operators want to run these routes because they are not viable," said Cllr David Fothergill.

"The Council’s financial position is well-documented, with falling funding and increased costs, and we cannot afford to carry on paying this extra money for these routes."

"We will do what we can to assist communities if they have ideas for alternatives, for example through community car share schemes or changing the areas covered by Community Transport schemes."

Posters have appeared on the bus informing passengers of the impending withdrawal.


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