Conservative Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset welcomed the news that threatened bus services in the area have been saved from being axed.
First Bus recently announced its intention to cut its evening, Sunday and bank holiday services on some routes in the area after Somerset County Council was forced to reduce its bus service subsidies. This would have meant that the 173 Bath to Wells service and the 376 Bristol to Street service would lose their Sunday services, with the 376 route also losing services after 7pm.
Conservative Councillors representing wards affected by these proposals in Midsomer Norton, Bath and villages along the A37 vowed to fight to save these services from the axe. Now, B&NES Council has announced that it is to step in to help subsidise these threatened services, awarding £30,000 to support these services.
Midsomer Norton Councillor Barry Macrae (Cons, MSN North) said:
“Losing these evening and Sunday services to Bath would have been a real blow to our area. So we are really pleased that B&NES Council, alongside Bristol City Council, has been able to step in to help retain these vital and valued bus services. The bus routes to Bath and Bristol have recently been upgraded to ‘Showcase’ status, with investment in new bus shelters and bus priority measures, so we want to see more buses, not less.”
Cllr Les Kew (Cons, High Littleton), whose ward includes the villages of Farrington Gurney and High Littleton, added:
“Rural areas such as the villages along the A37 are already poorly served by bus services, so losing the 376 service on Sundays and evenings would have made this situation even worse. This is a positive result for residents in our area.”