X53 Dorset to Devon coastal bus gets reprieve

Dorset Echo: Saved until end of the year, the X53 coastal bus Saved until end of the year, the X53 coastal bus

PASSENGERS are delighted after the X53 coastal bus Sunday service was saved until the end of the year.

The vehicle was due to stop on Sundays on November 4 after the county council couldn’t find funding.

But now the authority has performed a U-turn and has found £8,000 to keep the Sunday services going until the end of 2012.

Coun Ron Coatsworth, who is the Bride Valley county councillor, said: “I am delighted that people will be able to use their bus service on Sundays during the winter.

“It is important as people can become isolated in villages.”

The X53 runs along the Dorset coast and into Devon. It includes stops in Weymouth, Chickerell, Portesham, Abbotsbury, Burton Bradstock, West Bay, Bridport, Chideock, Morcombelake, Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

Coun Coatsworth and Burton Bradstock district councillor John Russell were among those to raise the issue at a recent county council environment committee meeting Coun Coatsworth said that he hoped another £10,000 could be found at County Hall to ensure the service covers January to March as well.

He said: “It will be discussed at the next cabinet meeting. I am optimistic. The case has been made.”

He added that people should make sure they use the bus if they can to ensure that it keeps going.

Barbara James of Burton Bradstock also spoke at the meeting and said she was delighted to see the Sunday service saved.

She said: “It’s fantastic. The service is very important for tourism, especially as we have the Jurassic Coast.”

The county council’s proposals to halt its funding for the Sunday service sparked out an outcry.

Members of Bridport Town Council protested against the move. The Western Area Transport Action Group (WATAG) was also concerned.

Alan Williams of WATAG urged people to get new timetables from the tourist information centre as some times had changed on the X53 and 31.

They included some services leaving earlier, including the 7.20am service from Weymouth getting into West Bay and Burton Bradstock four minutes earlier.

There are also changes to the early X53 service leaving Lyme Regis at 6.26am instead of 6.39am.

Comments (13)

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7:58pm Sat 20 Oct 12

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

This is an 'undiscovered gem' for the region, such wonderful scenery, unusual people to meet on the journey. It warrants so much more publicity. Glad it's carrying on through the Winter.
This is an 'undiscovered gem' for the region, such wonderful scenery, unusual people to meet on the journey. It warrants so much more publicity. Glad it's carrying on through the Winter. TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sun 21 Oct 12

simon26r says...

Why should this bus still need funding..
Cut the late service that never has anyone on it to save some money and ban the bus pass..

This bus is at least half full in the Summer.
The biggest problem is no one never knows when it is going to turn up and all the holiday makers think that they have missed it so they call for taxis or just dont get on it. Over the past 6 months we must have had 50-60 people call up 777 777 or 77 77 77 as it's the only number I can remember :-)
Why should this bus still need funding.. Cut the late service that never has anyone on it to save some money and ban the bus pass.. This bus is at least half full in the Summer. The biggest problem is no one never knows when it is going to turn up and all the holiday makers think that they have missed it so they call for taxis or just dont get on it. Over the past 6 months we must have had 50-60 people call up 777 777 or 77 77 77 as it's the only number I can remember :-) simon26r
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Sun 21 Oct 12

gattens11 says...

Perhaps the bus was haif empty with bus pass holders .Who kept the service operating.
Perhaps the bus was haif empty with bus pass holders .Who kept the service operating. gattens11
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Sun 21 Oct 12

portlandresident says...

Stop the free bus pass use, that'll save loads of money! Or, at the ver least only allow local people to use it like they could in the beginning. Free travel doesn't make money!
Stop the free bus pass use, that'll save loads of money! Or, at the ver least only allow local people to use it like they could in the beginning. Free travel doesn't make money! portlandresident
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Sun 21 Oct 12

unexpected error says...

simon26r wrote:
Why should this bus still need funding..
Cut the late service that never has anyone on it to save some money and ban the bus pass..

This bus is at least half full in the Summer.
The biggest problem is no one never knows when it is going to turn up and all the holiday makers think that they have missed it so they call for taxis or just dont get on it. Over the past 6 months we must have had 50-60 people call up 777 777 or 77 77 77 as it's the only number I can remember :-)
The bus is always full in the summer and as a result is always running hideously late. It's not much fun waiting in a village for a bus that you have no idea when it'll arrive or even if it'll arrive at all as happens if there is an accident along the route. In my view the route is just too long to run in the tourist season. There should be a shuttle between Weymouth and Bridport in the peak season to relieve the pressure on the service. Out of season the bus is less used but partly because after a certain time you can only travel one way. I'm sure the bus would be used more in the evenings and sundays if you travel both ways but at the moment the last bus from the Weymouth end leaves several hours before the last one the other way. I'm not sure what the point of running a bus one way is really.
[quote][p][bold]simon26r[/bold] wrote: Why should this bus still need funding.. Cut the late service that never has anyone on it to save some money and ban the bus pass.. This bus is at least half full in the Summer. The biggest problem is no one never knows when it is going to turn up and all the holiday makers think that they have missed it so they call for taxis or just dont get on it. Over the past 6 months we must have had 50-60 people call up 777 777 or 77 77 77 as it's the only number I can remember :-)[/p][/quote]The bus is always full in the summer and as a result is always running hideously late. It's not much fun waiting in a village for a bus that you have no idea when it'll arrive or even if it'll arrive at all as happens if there is an accident along the route. In my view the route is just too long to run in the tourist season. There should be a shuttle between Weymouth and Bridport in the peak season to relieve the pressure on the service. Out of season the bus is less used but partly because after a certain time you can only travel one way. I'm sure the bus would be used more in the evenings and sundays if you travel both ways but at the moment the last bus from the Weymouth end leaves several hours before the last one the other way. I'm not sure what the point of running a bus one way is really. unexpected error
  • Score: 1

9:47am Mon 22 Oct 12

stench says...

thought they stopped excepting bus passes on this service a year ot two ago? Due to OAPs using the bus for nothing more than the warmth it provides, and probably the beautiful scenery. Not that you can blame them, but can be a pain when it's packed (which it is constantly in the summer)
thought they stopped excepting bus passes on this service a year ot two ago? Due to OAPs using the bus for nothing more than the warmth it provides, and probably the beautiful scenery. Not that you can blame them, but can be a pain when it's packed (which it is constantly in the summer) stench
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Mon 22 Oct 12

thetiger says...

If the bus company cant make it pay why is tax payers being used to fund it?

Strange how a cash strapped council can suddenly find £8,000 to fritter away on a bus service thats only going to run for another 8 weeks or so.

What happens after 2012? Will the council find another £1000 a week to prop it up?

In terms of council execs pay I suppose a grand a week is just loose change.
If the bus company cant make it pay why is tax payers being used to fund it? Strange how a cash strapped council can suddenly find £8,000 to fritter away on a bus service thats only going to run for another 8 weeks or so. What happens after 2012? Will the council find another £1000 a week to prop it up? In terms of council execs pay I suppose a grand a week is just loose change. thetiger
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Mon 22 Oct 12

bootedsw says...

Perhaps First should declare it a long distance coach service. The passes would then not be valid. Then see if it can survive without the concessionary pass holders.
Perhaps First should declare it a long distance coach service. The passes would then not be valid. Then see if it can survive without the concessionary pass holders. bootedsw
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Mon 22 Oct 12

RobinofLocksley says...

portlandresident wrote:
Stop the free bus pass use, that'll save loads of money! Or, at the ver least only allow local people to use it like they could in the beginning. Free travel doesn't make money!
Three daft sentences in succession - Im almost impressed.

1 - If you stop the use of passes, you'll get far fewer passengers. How does that save money?

2 - How do you restrict it to local people? Does the driver have to ask everyone "Are you local"? As the bus derives much of its income from holidaymakers, I can't see what you're hoping to achieve there.

3- Free travel isn't supposed to make money. It costs money. It's a service to those members of the community who couldn't otherwise afford it.
[quote][p][bold]portlandresident[/bold] wrote: Stop the free bus pass use, that'll save loads of money! Or, at the ver least only allow local people to use it like they could in the beginning. Free travel doesn't make money![/p][/quote]Three daft sentences in succession - Im almost impressed. 1 - If you stop the use of passes, you'll get far fewer passengers. How does that save money? 2 - How do you restrict it to local people? Does the driver have to ask everyone "Are you local"? As the bus derives much of its income from holidaymakers, I can't see what you're hoping to achieve there. 3- Free travel isn't supposed to make money. It costs money. It's a service to those members of the community who couldn't otherwise afford it. RobinofLocksley
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Mon 22 Oct 12

portlandresident says...

Hmm. Perhaps if you had read my comment fully, you'd have seen the answer to your own question 2.

When free travel began, it was just for people in the local area, to travel within the local area. People from outside of Dorset couldn't use their passes in Dorset.
.
If you stop the use of passes, you'll get fewer passengers. That's the whole point! Fewer passengers travelling for nothing, means more room for the fare paying public to travel with a seat.
.
You're right, free travel costs money! So, that's why I say stop it, and get people to pay. If people genuinely need to get somewhere, they'll pay. If they can't afford it, then perhaps there's another issue. But, it's obvious that this free travel is no longer sustainable.
Hmm. Perhaps if you had read my comment fully, you'd have seen the answer to your own question 2. When free travel began, it was just for people in the local area, to travel within the local area. People from outside of Dorset couldn't use their passes in Dorset. . If you stop the use of passes, you'll get fewer passengers. That's the whole point! Fewer passengers travelling for nothing, means more room for the fare paying public to travel with a seat. . You're right, free travel costs money! So, that's why I say stop it, and get people to pay. If people genuinely need to get somewhere, they'll pay. If they can't afford it, then perhaps there's another issue. But, it's obvious that this free travel is no longer sustainable. portlandresident
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Tue 23 Oct 12

kildare43 says...

I wish people wouldn't comment on things they know nothing about. A First Bus driver does not stop and only allow 1 or 2 people on if his bus was only half full. Likewise, he would be fired if he just sailed pass just to have a laugh at the people waiting. Explain to me how we in West Bay, Burton Bradstock, W.Bex and all points east are supposed to go about our daily lives when we can't get on the X53.summer and winter. Last Wednesday, 53 passengers got on in Weymouth, some already on there. A wet miserable, cold day and yet the bus was full.

We Dorset people have already paid for transport and we have suggested to all the people who make the decisions time and time again, swipe the cards and make the appropriate councils pay for their own people. The technology is there and it's not rocket science. The real problem with the X53 has come about because the 45 loop bus in Bridport was axed, We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour.

Somebody needs to have a word with Mr. Cameron to investigate the running of DCC and WDDC, they are not fit for purpose.
I wish people wouldn't comment on things they know nothing about. A First Bus driver does not stop and only allow 1 or 2 people on if his bus was only half full. Likewise, he would be fired if he just sailed pass just to have a laugh at the people waiting. Explain to me how we in West Bay, Burton Bradstock, W.Bex and all points east are supposed to go about our daily lives when we can't get on the X53.summer and winter. Last Wednesday, 53 passengers got on in Weymouth, some already on there. A wet miserable, cold day and yet the bus was full. We Dorset people have already paid for transport and we have suggested to all the people who make the decisions time and time again, swipe the cards and make the appropriate councils pay for their own people. The technology is there and it's not rocket science. The real problem with the X53 has come about because the 45 loop bus in Bridport was axed, We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour. Somebody needs to have a word with Mr. Cameron to investigate the running of DCC and WDDC, they are not fit for purpose. kildare43
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Wed 24 Oct 12

marabout says...

We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour.

Because they are richer and more privileged than you
We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour. Because they are richer and more privileged than you marabout
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Fri 26 Oct 12

Dorset Guy says...

marabout wrote:
We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour.

Because they are richer and more privileged than you
The bus to Poundbury was partly to stop overcrowding of the 31 as far as Poundbury stopping people going further getting on as well as trying to reduce car use
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: We people in Dorset have given £230,000 to provide electric buses for the privileged of Poundbury, a population of just 2,000 people WHY? They already have the 31 every hour. Because they are richer and more privileged than you[/p][/quote]The bus to Poundbury was partly to stop overcrowding of the 31 as far as Poundbury stopping people going further getting on as well as trying to reduce car use Dorset Guy
  • Score: 0

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