Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome Sarah Dyke is once again campaigning to save Somerset buses. She has started a petition to secure the future of the 58/58A, 54 and 30 bus routes and the evening services of the D2.
Somerset’s core bus services provide a crucial lifeline for residents and are essential in linking rural communities to local facilities such as high streets, hospitals and pharmacies. Several of them are now under threat.
Somerset Council is currently supporting the 58/58A, 54 and 30 buses and the evening services of the D2 using Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP Plus) funds provided by the Government. The Council will need to review the future of the 58/58A and 54 routes in the next few months and BSIP Plus funding for the 30 and D2 evening journeys is only in place until 31 March 2025.
Last year, Sarah Dyke ran a successful campaign to save the D2 bus, after First Group announced plans to remove evening, Sunday and public holiday services. This sparked a public outcry and more than 1,500 local people signed the petition started by Sarah Dyke.
Sarah Dyke MP for Somerton and Frome said:
“I know how vital bus services are to local communities, which is why I campaigned hard last year to make sure the evening, Sunday and public holiday services of the D2 weren’t axed.
“I have heard numerous stories from local people who rely on these routes to go about their day-to-day lives. They would be left stranded if they were removed. The 54 route, for instance, connects Taunton and Yeovil, the two largest towns in the county.
“At a time of high fuel costs, as well as the climate emergency, these core bus services provide a lifeline to many in our community who have no other way to travel. I will continue to stand up for our buses and to put pressure on the Government to provide Somerset Council with greater support.
“I am urging everyone who uses these bus services, knows someone who does or simply believes that they’re important to sign my petition. I’m also keen to raise awareness of the £2 bus fare cap and to encourage people to make greater use of our buses, so that they can be viable in the long term.”
Peter Travis, Co-Chair of Somerset Bus Partnership said:
“The £2 fare is a great initiative by the Government, but not if there are no bus services for you to use.”
Sarah Dyke’s latest petition can be found at: www.sarahdyke.uk/campaigns/save-our-buses
- The 58/58A runs between Yeovil and Wincanton.
- The 54 runs between Yeovil and Taunton, via Somerton and Langport.
- The 30 serves Frome town.
- The D2 runs between Frome and Bath.