A consultation on Somerset County Council cuts that would leave Nunney without a bus service on Saturdays has been extended until 4 January.
Already Nunney is not served by public transport on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Now First Group, which runs the route 161 Wells – Shepton Mallet – Frome service through Nunney, plans to cut bus services through Nunney on Saturdays too, if Somerset County Council goes ahead with plans to withdraw subsidy.
If the proposals go ahead, it would leave Nunney residents, their visitors and tourists without public transport in or out of the village for three days at Bank Holiday weekends – and with no public transport to get to and from Nunney Street Market and Fayre at all.
The County Council currently provides subsidised public transport on 81 routes across the County which are not commercially viable. Some of these routes are fully funded by Somerset County Council and some are partially supported.
As well as the route 161 service, the council plans to withdraw funding for services on Saturdays for the services Yeovil to Shepton Mallet (1); Wells – Shepton Mallett – Frome (161); Shipham to Street (668); Shepton Mallet to Glastonbury (669); Shepton Mallet to Midsomer Norton (776).
The council also plans to cut funding by 50% for supported Saturday journeys from Wincanton to Street (667).
Somerset County Council blames cuts in the funding it receives from central government for the current proposals to withdraw funding for bus routes in Somerset including the 161 service through Nunney.
As well as a reduction in the frequency of bus services, the council plans to increase the number of ‘demand responsive’ services. Somerset currently has a very high coverage of ‘demand responsive’ services such as the Slinky Bus which operates in 92% of parishes.
These community-based, door-to-door transport services are used by members of the public who cannot access main public transport routes. Users would still have to register to use the service. There is no suggestion at this stage, however, that Nunney would get such an ‘on demand’ service on Saturdays.
If approved, the cuts to bus services through Nunney would come into effect in May 2015.
During recent debates over Barratt Homes’ plans to build up to 100 new houses at Green Pits Lane in Nunney, improvements to public transport were high on the agenda for many residents.
The council has started a consultation on the proposed changes. A full overview of the proposed cuts to subsidised bus services is available at http://www.somerset.gov.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=94754
To take part in the consultation, go to www.somerset.gov.uk/bussurvey. To receive a printed copy, phone call Somerset Direct on 0845 3459155.
The consultation is now open and has been extended until 4 January. You don’t need to write letters, but please complete the short questionnaire and any add any comments you have on the proposed cuts.
The current timetable for the route 161 bus is available at:
PPC302, Somerset County Council
Somerset TA1 4DY
Email [email protected]
Telephone 0845 345 9155
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm, Sunday closed.