People living in the Tyning area of Radstock and the Waterford Park and Poets Estate area of Westfield will once again be able to catch the bus to Radstock and Midsomer Norton town centres on Saturdays, after Bath & North East Somerset Council stepped in to negotiate a change to a bus service.
In September 2016 bus operator Somerbus withdrew their service 82.
Frome Minibuses replaced the Monday to Friday service, but had been reluctant to add a Saturday service due to operational difficulties.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has been carrying out further negotiations with Frome Minibuses and Somerset County Council and as a result a limited Saturday service to certain affected parts of Radstock and Westfield will be restored in January by making a change to bus service 424.
This will be operating at no extra cost to either Bath & North East Somerset Council or Somerset County Council.
From Saturday 14 January there will be buses from Tyning on Saturdays at 08.55, 11.15, 13.05, 15.15 and 16.55. These will all go to Radstock, with some continuing to Midsomer Norton and others to Frome via Haydon.
From the same date there will also be buses from Waterford Park on Saturdays at 09.16 and 13.26 to Radstock and at 10.52 and 14.52 to Midsomer Norton.
The new services will be operated on a trial basis to assess passenger demand from those areas on Saturdays.
Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “I am really pleased that following negotiations Frome Minibuses have agreed to conduct this trial and I must commend them for their commitment to assisting the community by providing these services.
“Bus operations are a vital service to many people and in this case allow those in more rural areas of our district to stay connected to the larger and more populated towns.
“I would like to remind people that in order to keep these services running they must use them frequently – to ensure they are commercially sustainable.
“We hope the new services will enable residents of these areas to get to local shops and facilities on Saturdays once again, and to connect onto the wider bus network.”
There will also be minor changes to the Monday to Friday timetable for service 424 from Monday 9 January to try and improve punctuality in the afternoon peak hours. The new timetable should be available on the Traveline website in the week after Christmas at www.travelinesw.com or by calling 0871 200 2233 (calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge). Leaflets will be available on buses on services 82 and 424.