Bus users will soon be able to travel anywhere in the Taunton area for just £1
The new fare structure is part of an £11.9 million package of measures being introduced by Somerset County Council as part of Somerset’s Bus Service Improvement Plan and includes proposals for new evening and weekend services on some routes.
Earlier this week the Council and Somerset Bus Partnership launched the BUS IT campaign, which aims to encourage more people to use buses and save money, as well as helping to safeguard the county’s bus services and protect the environment.
The new £1 fares will be introduced from the beginning of September, starting with the Taunton Park and ride service, followed in the Autumn by £1 fares on other Taunton area-based bus services and offers all paying passengers a flat rate single fare or £2 for a return, to any destination in the greater Taunton area.
The fare zone is currently being finalised with operators.
The initiative is part of a longer-term goal to secure further funding to deliver similar fare initiatives in other areas of the county.
Free travel for concessionary bus pass holders will continue as currently.
Taunton’s Park and Ride remains free of charge until after the completion of the Toneway Creech Castle works, at which point the new £1 fare will be introduced. At £2 for a return ticket, this is still half the original fare.
The proposals will also see transport hubs established in, Somerton and Taunton, combining convenient waiting areas for bus passengers, better facilities to interchange between services, and other facilities such as bike racks for cyclists; and a programme of measures in Taunton and Bridgwater to improve bus journey times at congested parts of the road network.
Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Digital said: “We are delighted to be able to introduce this new £1 fare. We know cost is a key factor in persuading more
people to use buses and this should make a big difference, as well as helping to protect the environment by cutting the number of cars on the road.
“It’s vital as part of preserving bus services in Somerset that we deliver more choice and cheaper fares for people – we’re also looking at introducing some targeted new evening and weekend services, some additional demand responsive transport services with the help of the Somerset Bus Partnership. We hope to update passengers soon on this.
“The Government is ending the support grants which were introduced to help maintain services through the pandemic, and this has led to operators proposing cuts and changes to services from the autumn due to continuing low patronage – we want to protect as many routes as we can and by getting more people onto buses we can support that aim.”
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Submitted by Communications