Service 67 Wells - Burnham-on-Sea will continue to run

Service 67 Wells - Burnham-on-Sea will continue to run

by Crosville Admin

A KEY bus service between Wells and Burnham-on-Sea will continue to run thanks to a funding partnership. 

The 67 bus service, which runs between Burnham-on-Sea and Wells, was due to be out of service from today (July 21) but Somerset County Council (SCC) has confirmed it will continue to operate until March 31, 2018 after an agreement was reached for eight parishes in the area to meet much of the running costs. 

Somerset County Council has been funding the bus service since May last year after the 67's previous operator, Webberbus went out of business which has allowed work to find a community funded replacement to happen. 

It follows a similar agreement announced in February between the SCC and parishes in West Somerset to save routes between Porlock and Minehead and within Minehead,  the first arrangement of its kind in the county.

Councillor John Woodman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “All the parishes deserve considerable credit for how they have come together and worked with us to come up with a solution. Our budgets are under huge pressures and we were in no position to start subsidising the 67 after the collapse of Webberbus. But we found the money to keep it going in the short-term and the result is this agreement which secures the route until March. My message now is that the communities need to get behind the service. We all hope that it will be possible for this agreement – or something like it – to work in the longer term, but it only stacks up if the route is well-used”.

SCC has confirmed that the service will continue to run with no changes to the timetable, route or operator. 

Crosville Motor Services will be running the Burnham-on-Sea to Wedmore section of the route and Mendip Community Transport the Wedmore to Wells section.

A spokesman for SCC said: "Between now and March, the County Council and parishes will be looking at the long-term viability of the arrangements, which will depend to a large extent on how well used the service is. The eight parishes are paying varying contributions towards the cost of the service and Somerset County Council is contributing a further small amount to fund access to further education.The parishes which are part of the agreement are: Wells, Wedmore, Wookey, St. Cuthbert, Mark, East Huntspill, Burnham Without and Burnham & Highbridge. The Council is also underwriting the revenue predictions for the remainder of this financial year."

Councillor David Huxtable, who has been overseeing the discussions with the parishes, said: “This is a fantastic example of collaboration and joint working between the county and parish councils which has allowed this vital service to continue.

“Shrinking budgets mean we have to be creative, work differently and see where we can work with our local communities. This just shows that can be achieved when we do”.

 

Article Source http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/15426861.67_bus_service_funding_extended_for_eight_months/