Friday, 27 November 2015

Changes to the X34 from 7/ 12/ 15

Faresaver will be making slight changes to their X34 service on the 7th December the reasons for these changes are stated below.

The main issue we had was with the timing of the current 0802 departure from Frome as this had been getting to Frome about 0802-0805 and then having loaded was departing about 10 minutes late each day. This was then compounded further as on entering Trowbridge is was hitting the school/college traffic along the Frome Road. We have therefore retimed this trip to 0806 and given it more time along the whole route into Chippenham to reflect what it is currently achieving. In addition to this we have introduced an additional trip departing Frome at 0736 arriving in Trowbridge for 0806 for those who are finding that the following trip arrives too late into Trowbridge.


We have also removed the Medical Centre from the X34 to improve journey times and punctuality between Frome-Trowbridge. Since the X34 stopped going up to Sainsburys along The Butts the usage to the Medical Centre on the X34 has all but disappeared as people now catch the 267 instead. Those wishing to travel between the Market Place and Medical Centre are still able to catch the 267.

Friday, 20 November 2015

BBC News article about the protest in Taunton against Scc's proposed cuts to bus funding and concessionary fares

A protest has been held against proposed cuts to bus services and discounts for pass holders who use community transport in Somerset.
Somerset County Council is conducting two consultations as part of efforts to balance its budget for next year.
Cabinet member, David Fothergill said: "We currently subsidise 75 services and there are 25 of them we're looking at."
Protesters said the move would increase rural isolation and price some people out of using community buses.
The cuts would hit some weekend routes and services between most towns in Somerset, including Yeovil, Langport and Taunton.
Mr Fothergill added: "They're the ones with low usage or there's alternative means we can provide or it's just not economical to run them any more."
Tracey Harding, co-founder of the Frome and Villages Buses Action Group, which campaigns for better public bus services, said: "Frome has already lost three of its Saturday services in the last round of cuts made by First Bus.
"To have more cuts would be devastating."
The proposals would also halve the 50% concession bus pass holders receive on community transport to 25%.
Community bus Wiveylink is run by the Wiveliscombe Area Partnership
Pauline Homeshaw from the group said: "We're addressing rural isolation which so many people who use Wiveylink are absolutely suffering from already and Wiveylink has rescued them from that isolated state.
The council said the consultations would run until January, with a final decision taken later

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Favbug and Friends of Yeovil bus staion Protesting in Taunton against Scc's proposed bus cuts

Protesting at Somerset County Council offices in Taunton today about the proposed cut by Somerset County Council to funding for all (but 1) Saturday bus services.Managed to speak to Council leader, Transport Chief and Councillor Linda Oliver.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

FAVBUG's trip to the Lords in the local press

Our visit to London was picked up by a couple of local papers this week:

Bus campaigners take cause to Parliament

LOCAL bus campaigners recently visited the House of Lords in Westminster as part of a Campaign for Better Transport networking event.

Tracey Harding and Emma Russell of the Frome and Villages Bus Users’ Group (FAVBUG) recently went to the Campaign for Better Transport meeting alongside around 200  politicians, academics and national campaigners.

The campaign hopes to improve the quality and availability of public transport for people across the country.

Tracey, who lives in Frome said, “We went to the meeting to try and find out more about possible funding cuts for buses, the potential for local authorities to have more power over bus services, and the upcoming southwest branch of the Campaign for Better Transport.

“We met Chris Todd who will be setting up the southwest campaign alongside David Warburton MP.

“Finding out more about the buses bill and how the councils can devolve will give us a greater understanding of the effects on public transport in Frome and across the region.

“We are hoping that the new powers might see an improved bus service in the area, and that rural areas won’t be overlooked in favour of improving services for larger regions.”

Somerset bus services have been some of the worst hit in the southwest in the past five years. More than a quarter of funding has been lost for the county; the annual budget for 2014/15 was £4,076,300, compared to £5,569,300 in 2010/11.

Tracey continued, “This month George Osborne could cut the central government’s bus service operators grant, which is a ring-fenced sum paid to local authorities to fund bus services in the area.

“Martin Abrahms at the Campaign for Better Transport hasn’t told me what would happen to that money if it were cut from the grant.”

FAVBUG continues to campaign for improved bus services for residents in and around Frome, and will next weekend be attending the launch of Campaign for Better Transport South West in Bristol.

For more information about what the group does, visit its blog at or find the group on Facebook.

Frome bus campaigners join transport rally at House of Lords

Campaigners battling to retain decent bus services for Frome and its villages have taken their fight to the House of Lords.

They travelled to London to hear discussions on the Queen's speech and the Buses Bill, which gives any area with an elected mayor powers to take control of their bus services. These powers will allow the mayor to franchise bus systems.

One of the campaigners is Tracey Harding, a founding member of Frome and Villages Bus Users Group(FAVBUG) recently fought to retain threatened bus services including the 161, 184 and the Rode part of the 267.

She said that the new bill would hopefully see a more integrated transport system with ticketing that will allow travel on more than one operator's bus for one fare.

Mrs Harding said that the Chancellor George Osborne planned to discontinue the £345 million government's bus service operators' grant to be announced on November 25.

The bus operators' grant paid from central government to local councils to fund bus services is currently ring fenced.

Meanwhile the pressure group, Campaign For Better Transport is launching a branch to cover the South West on November 14 at Hamilton House in Bristol.

The event is open to any campaign groups along with anyone interested in public transport.

Mrs Harding, who traveled to London with Emma Russell, added: "This event will also be for campaign groups to meet up to discuss the way forward for public transport across the region."


 It was 3 months ago that Frome suffered a bitter blow by First bus cutting 4 out of 5 of our bus services. Luckily those 4 services were taken over by other operators. Now we hear that Scc plan to cut funding to 3 of our Saturday bus services being the 53/ 58 and 414/424 along with the 33 wednesday service to Wincanton.
The 414/ 424 Saturday bus service came under threat of having its funding cut earlier this year in the last round of consultations made by Scc.
The 53/ 58 and 414/ 424 are operated by Frome minibuses who are a small family run operator. Frome minibuses also have their 669 service Shepton to Street under threat of having its Saturday funding withdrawn this will be a devasting blow to them if all of these routes are cut.

Thursday, 5 November 2015


 The affected services are listed below. SCC would like to consult with as many Somerset residents and groups as possible and we would be grateful for your views on these proposed changes before a final decision is taken by the Council early in 2016.
Route No Service Details Operator Days Operated Frequency Proposal
1 Yeovil – Shepton Mallet South West Coaches Mon – Sat 5 return journeys per day. Withdraw Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
6 Bridgwater Town Service Bakers Dolphin Mon - Fri Hourly between 9am – 2pm Withdraw service – Alternative services are available within walking distance, and for those unable to access these, SCC’s demand responsive transport (Slinky service) and community transport is available.
16 Langport - Bridgwater Hatch Green Coaches Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw Saturday service and revise weekday timetable to remove 0715 journey from Bridgwater and 1800 journey from Huish Episcopi.
20 Seaton – Taunton Devon County Council (Stagecoach South West) Mon – Sat Every 3 hours Withdraw contribution to Devon CC for this service – Frequent services available between Wellington and Taunton. West Buckland could be served by the Slinky service if service 20 is withdrawn or re-routed.
22 Tiverton/Cullompton - Taunton Buses of Somerset Mon – Fri College days only Withdraw funding from July 2016. Service likely to continue to be provided commercially.
25 Taunton – Dulverton Buses of Somerset Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw all funding for this service – Service 25 will continue to operate commercially between Wiveliscombe and Taunton Mon to Sat. New reduced service to be introduced between Dulverton and Wiveliscombe to connect with service 25 Monday to Friday
29 Wells - Street - Taunton Buses of Somerset Mon –Sat 5 return journeys per day. Withdraw funding – peak service to continue to be provided on a commercial basis. Partial off peak service to be provided either commercially or through Demand Responsive Transport.
33 Wincanton – Frome South West Coaches Wed only 1 journey in each direction Withdraw service – Slinky service available
38 Huish Episcopi Extension Webberbus Mon - Fri College days only Re-route other existing public transport service to cover Huish Episcopi extension. Timetable revised accordingly.
40 Bridport – Yeovil Dorset County Council (Damory Coaches) Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw contribution to Dorset County Council for Saturday service – Mon to Fri service remains.
51 Stoke St. Gregory – Taunton Hatch Green Coaches Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
53/58 Warminster/Westbury - Frome Wiltshire County Council (Frome Minibuses) Mon – Sat Hourly Withdraw contribution to Wiltshire CC for Saturday service – Mon to Fri service remains.
67 Burnham on Sea – Wookey Hole Webberbus Mon – Sat 9 return jnys per day Withdraw minor funding contribution – Service to continue on fully commercial basis.
81 South Petherton – Yeovil South West Coaches Mon – Sat Hourly Withdraw funding – This may result in some reduction to the current timetable as funding supports two return journeys Monday to Saturday. The remainder of the service is commercial.
99 Chard – Yeovil Stagecoach South West Mon – Sat Hourly Reduce frequency on service between Yeovil and Chard.
113 Highbridge - Berrow Hatch Green Coaches Mon – Fri 5 return journeys per day. Withdraw service – Other public bus routes available within walking distance. Slinky service also available in the area.
158 Wincanton – Shaftesbury Dorset County Council
(South West Coaches) Mon – Sat 5 return journeys per day. Withdraw contribution to Dorset County Council for Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
198 Minehead – Dulverton Webberbus Mon – Sat 5 return journeys per day. Service to be reduced and provided by smaller vehicle.
414/424 Frome – Midsomer Norton Frome Minibuses Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
667 Wincanton – Street Nippy Bus Mon – Sat Every 90 mins Withdraw Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
668 Shipham – Street Bakers Coaches Mon – Fri 4 return journeys per day. Minor timetable revisions when contract is retendered in 2016.
669 Shepton Mallet – Street Frome Minibuses Mon – Sat Every 2 hours Withdraw Saturday service – Mon to Fri services remain.
776 Shepton Mallet – Midsomer Norton Hatch Green Coaches Mon – Sat 5 return journeys per day. Withdraw service – Other public bus routes available within walking distance. Slinky service also available in the area.
N9 Martock - Yeovil Nippy Bus Mon - Sat Hourly Withdraw funding from 0800 journey on Saturday. Mon – Fri service and balance of Saturday service remains.
N10C Stanchester School – Taunton Nippy Bus Mon – Fri One journey in each direction Withdraw funding from non-college day journeys.