BUS passengers are facing a winter of discontent as services are axed in Weymouth and Portland.

Changes are being made to local routes as the First bus company introduces a winter timetable.

It includes reductions to evening buses on the most popular routes to Littlemoor and Portland and stopping services to Preston after 7pm.

General Manager of First in Dorset Dervla McKay said: “We want to make sure that our services are aligned to customer demand, which means we have reduced some services for the winter period only. It makes sense for us to have different winter and summer timetables in Dorset because a lot of our business here is seasonal.

“By ensuring that our services remain commercially viable we can continue to fund improvements to meet customers’ needs, including the new weekend journeys on some services that were introduced on a trial basis in March and have now become part of our regular timetable throughout the year.”

Customers are advised to check timetables to ensure that they understand the impact of the changes. Timetables will be available at First’s usual agents from October 20 or can be viewed from October 7 at firstgroup.com/dorset

The changes, which will take effect from November 3, include:

  • Service 1 (Weymouth – Portland): Monday to Saturday frequency will be every 10 minutes. Evening services will remain as per the summer timetable until 9pm, and then reduce to a half-hourly service. The 11.40pm ex-Weymouth and return service will be withdrawn. Sunday buses will run every 15 minutes. Connections to and from Dorchester in the morning peak will be improved
  • Service 2 (Weymouth – Littlemoor): This service will operate half-hourly after 9pm
  • Service 4 (Weymouth – Preston): Services to terminate at 7pm. No change on Sundays
  • Service 8 (Weymouth – Chickerell): Monday to Saturday services after 8.30pm will be withdrawn. No change on Sundays
  • Service 10 (Weymouth – Dorchester): Timing improvements will enable better connections with Service 1
  • Service 31 (Weymouth – Bridport – Axminster): Slight change in the running time will improve rail connections at Dorchester
  • Service X53 (Poole – Weymouth – Bridport – Exeter): Mon-Fri 9.05am Poole-Weymouth and 11.23am Weymouth-Poole to be withdrawn. The Sunday service was already planned to be withdrawn at the end of September.