Fighting to keep the buses

Oliver Letwin - West Dorset to Westminster

Oliver Letwin - West Dorset to Westminster

First published in News

Once again, the focus of attention in the Dorchester and Bridport area has been on buses. For the inhabitants of Martinstown and Winterbourne Steepleton, the issue has been the re-routing of the no. 31 bus so that (other than in the early morning and late afternoons) it will no longer run through these two villages. Despite a huge wave of concern and considerable efforts made by councillors, we have not so far been able either to get any kind of delay in the implementation of the changes or funding for a reduced service.

At present, if nothing changes, people needing public transport into Dorchester or Bridport from these villages will have to rely on a dial-a-ride service – and even this has not yet been finalised.

A further public meeting is planned for early June, I understand, and discussions are continuing but I really do think that these villages, which lie only just off the A35, should be able to support a proper bus service.

Of equal concern is the no 47 bus, which runs from Bridport to Yeovil, and which was put in question earlier this year but then was given a new lease of life until the end of the school year.

There are really two, related but different, problems here. The most acute is the need for the considerable number of students who travel from the Bridport area to Yeovil College to have a means of transport. As I have mentioned in a previous column, this is a vital lifeline, as there are many students who simply couldn’t get to college without the bus.

I have been in touch with the County Council about this on several occasions over the past few months, and I am reasonably optimistic that a solution will be found in conjunction with Yeovil College and Somerset County Council – so we need to remain vigilant about this.

More worrying, is the situation for people that need to travel during the day from Bridport to Yeovil. This is where our attention now needs to be focused.

Comments (8)

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11:03am Sat 24 May 14

JamesYoung says...

I expect we'll see a lot more letters from Letwin now 2015 is just around the corner.
I expect we'll see a lot more letters from Letwin now 2015 is just around the corner. JamesYoung
  • Score: 3

1:49pm Sat 24 May 14

CoogarUK.com says...

The pleas of West Stafford residents appear to have fallen on deaf ears & I'm not sure why the District Councillor for our ward (Andy Canning) is actively campaigning for the restoration of bus services in Martinstown instead.
The pleas of West Stafford residents appear to have fallen on deaf ears & I'm not sure why the District Councillor for our ward (Andy Canning) is actively campaigning for the restoration of bus services in Martinstown instead. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 2

3:04pm Sat 24 May 14

MaidofDorset says...

The villages become ghettos for those who don't drive. How much extra time does it take to go the back-road?
The villages become ghettos for those who don't drive. How much extra time does it take to go the back-road? MaidofDorset
  • Score: 2

9:14pm Sat 24 May 14

happyhector71 says...

For those that don't know.....

The 47 service will end on the 28th June.... DCC have apparently said that they cannot afford to pay for the running of this service.
For those that don't know..... The 47 service will end on the 28th June.... DCC have apparently said that they cannot afford to pay for the running of this service. happyhector71
  • Score: 0

12:33am Sun 25 May 14

JamesYoung says...

The problem, of course, is the governments mis allocation of resources to older people, resulting in services that now cannot run at a profit and thus don't run at all.
The problem, of course, is the governments mis allocation of resources to older people, resulting in services that now cannot run at a profit and thus don't run at all. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

11:31am Sun 25 May 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

The fault goes way back to the Thatcher Government when the Transport Secretary Nicholas Ridley MP oversaw the deregulation of bus services, broke up the National Bus Company and stopped operators cross subsidising routes. This was where some of the profits from good routes propped up the rural routes. If you look at the number of villages in Somerset and Dorset that no longer have any form of comprehensive bus service plus the number of small private operators that served local villages that have vanished over the years, then Mr Letwin really needs to go back to his 'friends' around the cabinet table to sort this out as I'm sure it must be a nation wide problem.
The fault goes way back to the Thatcher Government when the Transport Secretary Nicholas Ridley MP oversaw the deregulation of bus services, broke up the National Bus Company and stopped operators cross subsidising routes. This was where some of the profits from good routes propped up the rural routes. If you look at the number of villages in Somerset and Dorset that no longer have any form of comprehensive bus service plus the number of small private operators that served local villages that have vanished over the years, then Mr Letwin really needs to go back to his 'friends' around the cabinet table to sort this out as I'm sure it must be a nation wide problem. Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Sun 25 May 14

j.brown says...

If the buses were more disabled friendly it may attract more people to use them.
I am alone and used the buses regularly I admit with an elderly pass but it enabled me to visit family and friends and shop. The only routes that were regularly full we're the 53 and 31. They often had holidaymakers on them and without the service there will be fewer visitors to our villages and towns. If there was more promotion of the places that could be visited there may be more use.
This year I am a wheelchair who cannot get onto a bus yet or even get to a stop.
If the buses were more disabled friendly it may attract more people to use them. I am alone and used the buses regularly I admit with an elderly pass but it enabled me to visit family and friends and shop. The only routes that were regularly full we're the 53 and 31. They often had holidaymakers on them and without the service there will be fewer visitors to our villages and towns. If there was more promotion of the places that could be visited there may be more use. This year I am a wheelchair who cannot get onto a bus yet or even get to a stop. j.brown
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Tue 27 May 14

oldbrock says...

happyhector71 wrote:
For those that don't know.....

The 47 service will end on the 28th June.... DCC have apparently said that they cannot afford to pay for the running of this service.
but the councillors will STILL get full expenses in these times od so-called "austerity" this austerity only seems to be for the lower orders by what we actually see happening....... no wonder the councillor and MPs share the same list as bankers and estate agents
[quote][p][bold]happyhector71[/bold] wrote: For those that don't know..... The 47 service will end on the 28th June.... DCC have apparently said that they cannot afford to pay for the running of this service.[/p][/quote]but the councillors will STILL get full expenses in these times od so-called "austerity" this austerity only seems to be for the lower orders by what we actually see happening....... no wonder the councillor and MPs share the same list as bankers and estate agents oldbrock
  • Score: 0

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