‘Despair’ over plans to scrap bus service

CHANGES to supported bus services in North Somerset will see some routes axed and others merged together.

North Somerset Council wants to cut the amount it spends subsidising bus services by �340,000 for 2012/13.

Following consultation with residents and councils, the unitary authority said it would prioritise daytime routes providing access to employment, shopping and services.

The changes will include the creation of a new 66 Congresbury to Nailsea service to replace the 660 and 661 services from Congresbury to Portishead, the 692 Nailsea to Portishead service and the 985 Clevedon School service.

The main functions of these routes should remain while the authority saves more than �100,000.

In Clevedon, the daytime 800 town service will be withdrawn completely with North Somerset Council hoping people will use alternative services.

During consultation, Clevedon Town Council asked for the 800 route to be protected due to its popularity with elderly residents.

Most Read

Chairman of the town council’s transport and highways committee, Councillor Trevor Morgan, said: “I’m beginning to despair with what they are doing.

“They seem to be making all these changes and not thinking them through.

“That is a well-used service that does benefit the local community.”

The 657 Clevedon to Bristol Sunday service, via Tickenham, Nailsea and Wraxall, will be withdrawn, with passengers encouraged to transfer to the 362/363 Clevedon to Bristol service.

In Portishead, the 692 route, to be incorporated into the 66 service, will be withdrawn from Port Marine.

In Wraxall, the 354 evening and Sunday services will be withdrawn, with North Somerset Council saying it will monitor the impacts and discuss options with First Group for evening changes.

New community bus services will also be introduced in areas where it is too expensive to provide traditional ones. This includes during the day between Kingston Seymour and Clevedon and also between Clapton-in-Gordano and Portishead.

North Somerset Council is also continuing talks in the hope of starting more community bus routes in the future.

There will be no change to the services ran during the evenings in Clevedon, during Sundays and evenings in Portishead and during the day in Nailsea.

A document detailing all changes is due to be signed off by North Somerset Council’s executive member for transport, Elfan Ap Rees, this week.

All changes will then be implemented from April and new contracts to be awarded will run until March 2015.

* What do you think about the planned changes? Let us know by commenting below.