EDF Energy – currently procuring a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset – is funding a free community bus for residents without an alternative since replacements for former WebberBus routes ceased last October.
Starting 6 February, Somerset Passenger Solutions – the 50/50 First South West/ Crosville Motor Services joint venture providing transport to Hinkley Point — has run the new weekday Bridgwater-Minehead route. This initial operation runs for 12 months, using spare resources off-peak to serve Combwich, Stogursey, Nether Stowey, Doniford and Blue Anchor s.
Somerset County Council says: ‘This is exactly the kind of partnership working and creative thinking that we need to solve some of the rural transport issues we face. The loss of WebberBus [last May] has been a real challenge and we simply do not have the money to step in and subsidise services.’
County council funding for the former WebberBus service 67 (Wookey Hole-Wells- Wedmore-Burnham) is further extended to 21 July but on a reduced weekdaysonly timetable, as work continues on a community-funded replacement.
In place of the through service provided by Bakers Dolphin, Mendip Community Transport runs the Wookey Hole-Wedmore section mainly commercially, while Crosville Motor Services provides the Wedmore-Burnham section with council support.