Petition launched against cuts to bus services in Dorset

Petition launched against cuts to bus services in Dorset

Published by Maria Greenwood at 9:57am 2nd October 2019. (Updated at 7:01am 3rd October 2019)

A petition's been launched to reinstate two early morning and late evening bus services that connect Bridport with Weymouth and Dorchester.

It's been started by West Dorset Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Edward Morello - he's calling on First Wessex and Dorset Council to find a solution.

First say they've been forced to make cuts to the X51 and X53 services as they're not subsided by the council and are no longer making a profit.

Edward Morello BEST
West Dorset Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Edward Morello

Edward Morello said: 

"This is another blow for residents of West Dorset who rely on our local bus services to get to work and access vital services.

"Thanks to the Liberal Democrat-led motion, Dorset Council has declared a climate emergency. It must now put those words into action.

First Wessex Bus (Steve Bulley)

"Cutting buses moves people into cars at exactly the point at which we need to be doing the opposite.

"I would urge all residents, whether they are directly affected by this case or not, to support our petition asking First Wessex and Dorset Council to reverse this decision."

You can sign the petition here.

First Bus Alt SB

First Wessex first announced they were cutting services along the X51 and X53 routes due to cuts in external funding.

A First Group spokesperson told Wessex FM: 

"As many people living and working in Dorset will appreciate, much of our First Wessex bus operation reflects seasonal demand.

"Since the contribution from the local authority ceased some years ago, we're operating these services on a fully commercial basis and, despite our efforts, in all that time these services have not turned a profit.

"Similar to businesses in other sectors that are reliant on tourism to remain sustainable, for the winter period, when there are fewer people requiring transport, we adjust our services to match this reduced demand whilst also minimising our losses over that period."

bus passengers

Dorset Council added: 

"The X51 service is operated by First Wessex as a commercial service. 

"It is not subsidised by Dorset Council; therefore, we have no control over the operation of the service."