Finding solutions together to save West Somerset buses

Somerset County Council congratulates the local communities of Porlock, Selworthy and Minehead on their initiative and determination to keep local bus services running.

The ground breaking plans, the first of its kind in Somerset, have been pursued by the local parish and town councils in partnership with the Buses of Somerset and the County Council and will secure the future of a key local service for the vibrant market town.

The replacement bus combines the number 10 (Porlock-Minehead) and 101 (Minehead Town Service) into a single service with funding from the local community. The routes had previously been run commercially by Webberbus which ceased operating earlier this year. The service was taken over by Buses of Somerset but unfortunately because the service was not proving to be financially viable they proposed to stop the service. Now after a local initiative has secured financial support, Buses of Somerset will operate the new route.

Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We are very pleased that the communities have worked together to develop their own solution.

“It is great that local residents are being proactive. This model could potentially be replicated elsewhere. I would encourage local people to learn from this example and think creatively about how local services can be delivered in the future.”

This is a really important part of addressing questions of rurality and social mobility that face West Somerset and it will be an important part of the partnership working for the new ‘Opportunity Area’ pilot that will see central government funding coming to West Somerset.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This new bus service will also provide transport to allow local students to get to their place of study. I’m really proud of how the proactive communities in West Somerset have driven this forward. It’s really good to see West Somerset people determined to address the issues facing their communities to work towards a brighter future for themselves and future generations of children in the area.”

Link to Buses of Somerset press release – including new bus timetable: https://www.firstgroup.com/somerset/news-and-service-updates/news/lifeline-minehead-local-bus-services