This was the press release issued by Dorset County Council at the tail end of last week:
Discussions are continuing about the service 40 supplied by First buses to provide a suitable service for residents in the west of the county and we will continue to gather the information that allows us to make informed decisions.
Dorset County Council have explored and our travel team continue to explore the options.
Cllr Daryl Turner, the council’s Cabinet member for built and rural environment, said:
“We need to balance the local needs of residents with the realities of the numbers of people using these services.
“The county council’s policy to remove bus subsidies means that a more flexible and community-driven solution is needed. DCC have had excellent success working with communities using our Toolkit”
The toolkit can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/communitytransport
Following the release of First’s new timetable recently a number of issues have been highlighted:
There are a number of people in Broadwindsor, Gerrards Green and Netherbury who will not be serviced by the new timetable and a collectively-agreed community transport solution will be investigated to address this concern and we will be working with the communities to help them find solutions.
Students to Yeovil College and Sir John Colfox School are serviced by the current bus. However, the timings aren’t ideal. From Monday (today), the council will operate a 7.30am service from Bridport to Yeovil College. This is not a public service and there will be no fares as we are providing a service for the college. They will contribute to this and it will form a community college service.
Another issue that has been raised is the requirement for residents to attend Bridport Hospital. This connection is mostly used as a short hop from the town itself. Further discussions with the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group will look at support for this.
Over the next three months the council will continue to work with communities, companies providing community transport and the schools and colleges to iron out these issues.