Somerset off-peak bus services 'at risk'

First Bus (generic image)
Image caption It is not known how the cuts will affect services which go through different council areas

Some evening and weekend bus services in Somerset may be stopped completely because of cuts by the county council.

The Conservative-run authority voted in November to cut its subsidies to bus services by 46%, saving £2.6m.

No decision has been made on which routes or services will lose out, but bus operators say off-peak services will take a "significant" hit.

The council said it would look at which routes could be cut after its budget meeting next month.

It said there was the possibility that bus operators could step in.

But one bus company said the changes meant "Somerset would close for business at six o'clock".

'No links'

David Redgewell, from Transport South West, said: "We're extremely concerned that people working in Bristol and Bath will find it very difficult to get home at night to the Mendip towns.

"We're also concerned that Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea will effectively have no links in the evening to Taunton and Weston-Super-Mare."

The council said it would consult on which specific routes would be affected after the budget had been approved.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it had no plans to change its bus subsidies other than to make small adjustments because of inflation.

It said it was waiting to see what changes the county council would make before making any more decisions on services which cross council boundaries.

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