Burnham-On-Sea bus service given a £5,000 lifeline
and Highbridge Town Council has this week pledged to give £5,000
towards keeping a 'crucial' local bus service running.
comes after a lively debate on Monday night (July 3rd) when town
councillors heard from users of the '67 bus', which runs from Wells
service has been funded by Somerset County Council since the collapse
of bus firm Webberbus last year. Funding was due to run out in March
this year, but it was extended until July 21st by the County Council
to allow more time for a community-funded replacement to be found
with local councils.
local parish councillor, Rosamund Mary Gaunt, said: "The service
runs from Burnham to Wells, but it's all the villages in between
who have no bus service who need the most."
Boulton, right, added: "Without this bus, some children
will be unable to get to school and other residents will be socially,
rurally and financially isolated. This is a really important service
to get to Burnham for shopping and doctors. It is the only east-west
route that is still available."
county councillor Tessa Munt - who is Burnham's former MP - also
spoke out in favour of saving the service. "It's quite difficult
for Burnham and Highbridge and for Wells to necessarily see the
advantages of a service that is so crucial for the villages in between,
but there are real benefits for the businesses in Burnham and Highbridge
might also be encouraged to visit local tourist attractions too
so there are potential tourism benefits. The cost to save it is
just a few pence per household."
North County councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton agreed: "It's
a very important service for local villages and local people. I
have no hesitation in supporting giving a grant of £5,000
as a contribution while inviting other sponsors to come forward."
councillor Kate Lawson added: "This bus service helps a considerable
number of people of all ages and needs. I support this, not just
for our town, but neighbouring villages." Burnham-On-Sea.com
councillor Louise Parkin said: "For the greater good, this
council needs to step up to the plate and give its support."
Young from Burnham tourist information centre added: "It's
a myth that local residents don't use this servce - they do, they
come in to us regularly asking for timetables. They want it saved
as much as tourists."
Janet Keen added: "Although the arguments are strong, I do
think we need to look at the usage figures to understand how many
passengers are needed to make it viable."
while town councillor Martin Cox said he was "very suppportive"
of the service, he wondered whether the costs could be reduced by
cutting the number of buses per day.
voted in favour of giving a grant of £5,000 towards the keeping
service running, alongside other local councils who will also be
giving funding, as pictured below. Burnham-On-Sea.com