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Dorchester bus routes get extension
1:43pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have agreed to preserve threatened bus routes in Dorchester for another five months.
Dorset County Council stepped in to save the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 town services as well as the number 95 school service last year when operator Damory Coaches announced it could no longer operate the routes commercially.
The short term contracts were set to run until the end of March but the council’s cabinet has now agreed to extend them until the end of August.
Director for environment Miles Butler said the cost of extending the contracts – as well as those for the 103 service between Dorchester and Bovington, the 212 to Yeovil and the 387 to Poole – was expected to be around £129,000.
He said extending the contracts meant the routes could then be considered in a countywide review of bus provision set to be completed by the autumn.
Cabinet member for highways and transportation Peter Finney said: “I would strongly recommend that we support these services because they are vital for the people that are going to use them.
“To see them demise at this particular point would be in my view quite wrong.”
Barry Thompson, from the Dorchester Labour Party, attended the meeting and said he was glad that the routes had at least been extended for the short term but had fears about what would happen in September in the light of reduced council funding for public transport.