Outcry over plans to axe two Saturday bus services

Plans to axe Saturday services on two major bus routes to Midsomer Norton have sparked outcry amongst the town’s Conservative Councillors.

Somerset County Council is consulting on plans which would see financial support withdrawn for Saturday services on the 776 and 424 bus routes.  The two services currently both run from Monday to Saturday, with the 776 service operating between Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet and the 424 service running between Frome and Midsomer Norton via Haydon and Writhlington.

However, if the proposals go ahead, both services would only operate from Monday to Friday.

Conservative Councillors in Midsomer Norton are leading calls to save the two Saturday services, and are urging local residents to join them in sending in objections to the planned changes to Somerset Council.  Conservatives are also writing to the B&NES Cabinet Member for Transport asking her to lodge an official objection on behalf of the Council.

Local Councillor Chris Watt (Cons, Midsomer Norton Redfield) said:

“These two bus services provide vital transport links between Midsomer Norton and Frome, as well as with Shepton Mallet

“These routes also provide a connection for our town with the wider bus network in Somerset. We’re therefore totally opposed to the withdrawal of Saturday services on these bus routes, and ask resident to join with us in lodging their objections to these planned changes.”

Fellow Midsomer Norton councillor Barry Macrae (Cons, Midsomer Norton North) added:

“Saturday services are extremely important as many people now work at the weekend, in addition to those who want to go shopping or visit friends and family.

“We’re calling upon Somerset Council to reconsider these proposals and are asking B&NES to look at what it can do to save these bus services, which are so important to the Somer Valley area, and so we need communities and councillors from across the Somer Valley to join together on this.”

Residents can respond to the consultation by going to: http://www.somerset.gov.uk/have-your-say/consultations/bus-service-changes/ and have until the 29th December to respond.