We Need Your Help! ...Can You Help Us?
Tuesday 7 November
Somerset Bus Partnership has been campaigning to improve Somerset's bus services for nearly 3 years. We are probably the most active bus user group in the country.
However, we now need money to help fund our next campaign and to produce the marketing materials.
As the £2 fare has been extended to December 2024, we need to reprint all the decals but they cost £6 each.
Somerset Bus Partnership needs help to fund this. So this is an appeal to see if you might be able to donate some money towards the cost of this. The £2 fare is resulting in increased bus usage hence we need to step up our promotion of the £2 fare.
Unless we increase bus use further, we face more bus cuts in the future as Somerset Council doesn't have enough money to fund our buses.
If you can donate just £6 that would buy one decal.
You can donate via PayPal or contact us for if you would like more details to make a direct bank transfer.
Monday 26 October
Bus routes in Somerset are currently under threat.
Somerset’s buses are vulnerable because Somerset Council has long spent far less on supporting buses than do our neighbouring rural councils.
Last year, two thirds of elected Somerset councillors made a commitment to increase the Council’s spending on buses.
This petition asks them to do what they had agreed to do.
We invite you to support it.
We the undersigned call on Somerset Council to increase its own funding of buses by 2026 to the average for similar councils in the South West.
Services 25, 28, 54 & 59 under threat
Monday 23 October
Somerset Council have announced that First South Buses of Somerset 25, 28, 54 & 59 services are under threat and on emergency funding to end of March 2024.
In October, Somerset Bus Partnership held two meetings covering the under threat routes.
Video of the meeting on First South Buses of Somerset 25 & 28 services:
Video of the meeting on First South Buses of Somerset 54 & 58 services:
Also Powerpoint slides from the meetings can be viewed here:
Bus Users, Make Your Views Heard!
Thursday 21 September
Somerset Council is carrying out a public consultation on a set of planning policy principles that would steer new development in Somerset. This is a rare opportunity for all bus users to influence planning policy and ensure that new developments encourage the use of sustainable transport rather relying on the assumption that everyone uses a car.
The proposals are aimed at prioritising sustainable methods of transport and reducing the need to travel, but they overlook the need to ensure that the developments can be served safely, adequately and efficiently by bus routes. There's a need to ensure that there are safe, well-lit paths to bus stops too.
Also, developers should be required to fund new and improved bus stop infrastructure as well as providing revenue support for new bus services for the first few years of operation.
The Somerset Bus Partnership is drafting a detailed response but I encourage all bus user groups and your members to do so too, particularly if there are examples you can cite on your local patch where previous planning decisions have had a detrimental impact on the ability of bus operators to provide a bus service to the development (such as a superstore set well away from main road bus stops but with a large car park just in front of it, or a linear housing development along a lengthy cul-de-sac).
Full details can be found here The closing date is 16th October 2023.
It may be a long time before we are given another chance to comment on planning policy, so please make the most of this opportunity. The more responses received by the Council, the better.
Somerset Bus Partnership Seminar: Bus User and Skakeholder Update
Monday 26 June
Update on activities, ideas for bus users / bus champions / stakeholders to take forward and plans for Catch The Bus Month.
Video of the meeting can be viwed here: https://youtu.be/lNzjRRRUkx0
Slides of the meeting:
Somerset Bus Partnership Seminar: Bus / Rail Intregration
Tuesday 24th January
100 people attend our Somerset Bus Partnership seminar on Bus / Rail Integration. The keynote speakers were: Luke Farley, Transport Integration Manager, Great Western Railway and Andrew Ardley, Regional Development Manager, South Western Railway.
The slides are in the pdf on the right. Video of the seminar can be viewed here:
We are thinking of our having our next seminar on Somerset's Coach network.
Evening Bus Services
Evening bus services on some key routes are set to be introduced as part of a major shake-up aimed at increasing bus use.
Somerset County Council has revealed plans to subsidise evening services connecting Taunton with the towns of Minehead, Bridgwater, Wellington and Chard after 8pm and running to at least 10.30pm.
Currently most of the services stop between 8-8.30pm.
Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital Cllr Mike Rigby said: “Evening buses are a vital part of our plans if we’re going to get more people using services.
“They will help improve the night-time economy but they also mean people have more options if they don’t have access to a car or want to leave their car at home.'
The evening bus proposals are part of Somerset’s Government-funded Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which aims to increase bus patronage by radically improving the public transport offer for people in Somerset.
You can view the new evening timetables here.
£2 Single Fare Cap - scheme extended
There has been a further extension of the £2 single fare capped scheme to 31 October and then £2.50 until November 2024. More...