Last updated: Mon 16 Feb 2015

Saturday bus service saved – for now?

Saturday bus services through Nunney may have been thrown a lifeline after the Government made extra cash available.
Bus Transport in NunneyThe route 161 Shepton Mallet to Frome bus service was expected to be axed after a consultation at the end of last year.

Somerset County Council proposed to cut subsidies to a number of bus services, including the 161 route. Nunney already has no bus services on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Visit Nunney strongly objected to the proposed cut on the basis that it would be bad news for villagers, their visitors as well as for tourism and related business in Nunney.

Now it looks likely that the service will continue, after Somerset County Council was given a share of a £74 million fund for local welfare and social care.

Somerset County Council will discuss its 2015/16 budget, including bus subsidies, in a meeting on 18 February.

According to campaigners against the proposed cuts, subsidising the Saturday bus services costs around £22,0000 a year. Somerset County Council currently has £30 million in reserves, roughly 10% of the county council’s expenditure.

The national guidance is for county councils to have 3-4% in reserve, which would suggest that saving the vital bus services is certainly feasible.

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