Somerset County Council has confirmed this week that it has withdrawn funding for a vital bus service through Burnham-On-Sea and the surrounding area.

The 102 bus service which runs from Bridgwater to Weston-super-Mare via Burnham, Highbridge, Brent Knoll, East Huntspill and East Brent has seen council funding withdrawn as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

The savings were first considered last year and have been agreed at a full meeting of Somerset County Council this month, alongside a package of other savings.

Highbridge councillor Cllr Chris Williams, pictured, who has campaigned for better local bus services told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I am very disappointed by this decision – it is very regrettable and will effect those travelling to and from the villages around Burnham the most.”

The County Council says it hopes the decision will not cause too much disruption to local travellers. “All areas other than Brent Knoll are served by other public services, while Brent Knoll will receive a service via a new routed ‘slinky service’,” said a spokesman.

But Brent Knoll councillor Bob Filmer added: “We are disappoointed that the funding for the 102 service has been withdrawn – it is an actively used service. We await to hear more details about the new ‘slinky’ service which could be good.”

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, defended the plans. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “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 removal of funding is due to take effect from the start of the new financial year during April. A period of consultation was carried out late last year on the proposed changes but the feedback has not led to any change.

 
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