A FUNDING package of more than £100m has been secured by a council to help improve bus services in North Somerset. 

The deal, jointly struck by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and North Somerset Council, should see more buses on the road at more frequent times and at lower fares. 

In April, the funding package was secured by the council to implement a joint Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) over the next three years.

It has now been confirmed by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the government's Bus Back Better Scheme.

The authority will now see £48million for capital improvements in North Somerset while £57.5million will work as 'pooled revenue' with WECA.

Under the plans bus infrastructure, such as stops and vehicles, are set to be revamped under a single brand as well as an increase in speed and frequency.

The council says major towns should expect a minimum frequency of 60 minutes, with many increased to every 30 or 20 minutes on priority corridors such as the A370, A369 and A38.

This comes after the council recently called on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to hold the 'poor performance' of First Bus to account after it emerged missing journeys from the operator peaked at nine per cent earlier this year. 

Last month First West of England axed the X2 and 126 Mendip Xplorer while a further eight routes saw huge timetable reductions.

The X5 route, originally from Weston to Bristol, dodged the axe but saw route changes and now stops in Portishead. 

The council's executive member with responsibility for transport, Cllr Steve Hogg, said: "This investment represents a genuine opportunity to deliver many of the 2030 carbon reduction targets, by improving the effectiveness of public transport to a level that creates a genuine alternative to the use of private vehicles.

"We’ll be able to make a real difference by investing in infrastructure, providing more bus services and reducing the cost of fares. 

“We have declared a climate emergency, and transport decarbonisation is an essential part of our action plan to reduce emissions to net zero.

"Around 43 per cent of our carbon emissions are from transport and we cannot continue to use the car in the same way as we have done for the previous 50 years."