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Author Topic: Free bus travel, 19th December 2023. Selected Somerset routes  (Read 1344 times)
JayMac
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« on: December 10, 2023, 01:18:43 »

Somerset Council and Buses of Somerset have announced that there will be free travel for all on selected routes on 19th December 2023.

Service 25 - between Dulverton and Taunton, serving Wiveliscombe, Milverton, Cotford St Luke and Norton Fitzwarren.
Service 28 - between Minehead and Taunton, serving Dunster, Watchet, Williton and Bishop's Lydeard.
Service 54 - between Yeovil and Taunton, serving Ilchester, Somerton, Langport and Curry Rivel.
Service 58/58A - between Yeovil and Wincanton, serving Sherborne, Milborne Port, Henstridge, Stalbridge (58A) and Templecombe.
 
This is a bit of a carrot and stick offer. These services are under the threat of cuts from 1st April 2024. So this is a "use it or lose it" initiative. Somerset Council is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and cannot commit to further subsidy of these services beyond April 2024. Buses of Somerset need the passenger numbers for the services to be commercially viable.

https://www.somerset.gov.uk/news/bus-it-for-free-and-enjoy-a-festive-day-out-with-the-family/

On a personal note as a resident of Templecombe and regular user of the 58/58A. If this service goes or is cut back further (only every two hours currently) then this will be a further reason for me to consider a return to car ownership. The train service provided by SWR» (South Western Railway - about) has got progressively worse in the years since I moved here - multiple factors well documented on this forum. Losing the already infrequent bus too would be further isolating for me, and many others in these areas. At least I have the option of returning to car ownership. For many that isn't possible.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2023, 12:44:41 by JayMac » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2023, 03:21:30 »

Somerset Council and Buses of Somerset have announced that there will be free travel for all on selected routes on 19th December 2023.

[snip]

Service 28 - between Minehead and Taunton, serving Dunster, Watchet, Williton and Bishop's Lydeard.

[snip]
 
This is a bit of a carrot and stick offer. These services are under the threat of cuts from 1st April 2024. So this is a "use it or lose it" initiative.

Err - is that the same 28 that local people complain they can't get on because of crowds of holiday makers?

Quote
On a personal note as a resident of Templecombe and regular user of the 58/58A. If this service goes or is cut back further (only every two hours currently) then this will be a further reason for me to consider a return to car ownership. The train service provided by SWR» (South Western Railway - about) has got progressively worse in the years since I moved here - multiple factors we'll documented on this forum. Losing the already infrequent bus too would be further isolating for me, and many others on these areas. At least I have the option of returning to car ownership. For many that isn't possible.

So much a sentiment that's being quite frequently expressed these days - the utter unreliability of public transport services discourages their use and encourages people to spend their resources on congestion-generating, fossil-burning private vehicles that are so anti-environment and only available to the better off and healthier members of society who have reached an age of "responsibility".
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JayMac
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2023, 12:56:20 »

In the past week, after returning the car I'd hired the week before, I've had something of a rough time mentally due to the inability to get out and about thanks to multiple issues with public transport.

Being forced into spending a large chunk of my limited income on a car is not something I want to do, but I see little choice.

Another option I'm considering is putting my housing association property on the local authority's 'Home Swap' system. But the upheaval of and costs of moving are not something I'd relish. Then there's the issue of finding someone willing to swap say, Taunton for Templecombe. I wouldn't.

I'm falling out of love with Templecombe. The negatives are starting to outweigh the positives. And this is having an impact on my mental wellbeing.
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2023, 18:59:03 »

Sorry to hear this is getting you down and hope things improve for you soon. If you do decide a move is necessary though, you may well find that for every one person who'd favour a move to the likes of Taunton, someone may well be keen to move to Templecombe.

Mark
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