New bus service – use it or lose it

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Bridport to Yeovil bus services agreed

Dorset County Council has worked with First Wessex, Yeovil College and local communities to ensure a continued bus service between Bridport and Yeovil.

Two new services are being introduced to replace the current service 40, which the couny council and subsequently First Wessex have run since the withdrawal of the route by Damory Coaches in July.

First Wessex will operate commercial service 6 between Beaminster and Bridport Hospital, with one journey each way to and from Yeovil. The number 6 will run throughout the day between Monday and Friday. For people studying and working in Yeovil, the council will provide additional links between Yeovil and Bridport or Beaminster, with four return trips a day linking with the First Wessex timetable.

The council has worked with Dorset HealthCare to clear overhanging trees on Hospital Lane in Bridport, meaning double-decker buses can now run along the route to the hospital.

The county council service 40 will provide a journey between Bridport and Yeovil College via Broadwindsor and Mosterton starting at 7.30am from Monday to Friday. A return journey to Bridport will leave Yeovil at 5.15pm.

The service, which is being jointly funded by Yeovil College, will be in place until the end of the year. This will give the council, college and local communities three months to understand the level of demand for the service and develop longer-term transport solutions, which could be community-based.

At the same time, the council is continuing to work with west Dorset communities to develop community transport solutions to fill in some of the gaps in the timetable for local villages in the area.

The county council is working with the Traffic Commissioner to register the new services as quickly as possible and, pending registration, the new timetables will be published and start running in the next few weeks.

Cllr Rebecca Knox, Leader of Dorset County Council and councillor for Beaminster, said: “We have been working with communities to meet the travel needs of all ages, and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to respond with a short-term solution. I’m sincerely hoping that, if well-used by local people, these services will continue, with a responsive community option offering flexibility and freedom for small villages to access the core bus network. We are encouraging communities to join forces to build further on the great work already underway to identify people’s travel needs.”

Cllr Ros Kayes, county councillor for Bridport, said: “I’m particularly pleased to see that the Bridport Hospital bus stop is back on the timetable and would like to thank officers for their hard work in providing this solution. Now we need to work together to make a long term solution available and I urge residents to make good use of these buses in order to enable that to happen.”

Simon Newport, general manager of First Wessex, said: “We’re pleased to see the new arrangements for this bus service. This is the best solution for this route, which will hopefully go a long way to securing its long-term future, as well as and meeting the needs of these communities. We hope that this change will encourage more people on to the bus.”  

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