A pioneering community-run bus service in West Somerset is adding new journeys for the summer season to meet demand.
The Number 10 Porlock to Minehead bus was kept running as a partnership thanks to a contract brokered by Somerset County Council when The Buses of Somerset withdrew their service earlier this year.
It is entirely funded by Porlock Parish Council, Minehead Town Council, Selworthy and Minehead Without Parish Council and Luccombe Parish Council, with the current timetable provided by three operators – The Buses of Somerset, Ridlers Coaches and Atwest (Accessible Transport West Somerset). This is the first arrangement of its kind in the county.
Now, for the busy summer season, Atwest is adding two extra journeys with its 16-seater minibuses every Saturday until 3 November.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This community partnership was a new model for us and as such was unproven, so I’m particularly delighted that it is going from strength to strength.
“Once again I’d like to thank all the communities and operators involved for pulling together to keep this bus service running. As a council we just do not have the finances to support and subsidise as many bus routes as we would wish, and seeing the local communities come together in this way has been really inspiring.”
Malcolm McCoy, Chairman of Porlock Parish Council, said: “The 4 Parish Council Partnership funding this essential service are very pleased at the way the service is being used by local residents and now the influx of summer visitors to our area. Being run by our local bus companies, it also provides more employment which helps to maintain our local economies.”
Penny Webber, Chairperson of Selworthy and Minehead Without Parish Council said: “We are all delighted with the results of the combined support to keep this vital bus service open for locals and visitors.”