Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey will present his petition at County Hall today (Friday) calling on Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council to step in and subsidise the 126 bus between Wells and Weston-super-Mare.
Mr Heappey has received thousands of signatures from local residents calling on the Councils to step in to help save this ‘crucial’ community bus.
This follows an important announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps meaning that the two councils will now see the Bus Recovery Grant extended for another six months.
The extension of the fund implemented to protect bus services during the pandemic means that Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council have funds to subsidise bus services if they choose to.
The Member of Parliament for Wells met with First Bus last week to discuss the 126 and heard that the company had already given its notice to the councils.
Councillors now have two or three weeks in order to offer subsidy or seek an alternative commercial provider before referring the case to the Transport Commissioner who will confirm the cessation of the service.
“We really are at the end of the road on the 126.” said Mr Heappey. “First Bus have made their decision and won’t continue to accept large losses on the route. It is only through subsidy that the route will survive.”
“Thousands of my constituents have joined me in urging the councils to step in, use the extra money they’ve been given by the Government through the extended Bus Recovery Fund, and save the 126.”
“This vital lifeline for communities all along the Cheddar Valley is now in the hands of our councillors.”