Devon helps to keep bus services on the road
Posted on: 20 May 2016
Devon County Council has stepped in to secure the continuation of two bus services in East Devon.
Service 688, a Dorset-based service which serves Hawkchurch in Devon on its way to and from Axminster every Thursday, had its subsidy withdrawn by Dorset County Council in April.
The service will be able to continue thanks to a new arrangement between Devon County Council and Dorset Community Transport.
Service 20 from Seaton – Honiton – Taunton will undergo minor changes to its route from Monday 25 July. Following Somerset County Council’s withdrawal of its share of the subsidy for Service 20, Devon County Council has provided an additional £18,700 to keep the modified service running. The service, which is operated by Stagecoach, will no longer stop at West Buckland and the last bus of the day will terminate at Culmstock rather than Taunton.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The subsidies from Devon for these services will enable the continuation of these important links and we recognise how highly they’re valued by Devon residents. These services now rely exclusively on subsidies from Devon County Council. We have had to make minor changes to Service 20 but that has ensured it is cost effective for Devon.”
Councillor Andrew Moulding, Devon County Councillor for Axminster, said: “I have been pleased to support the efforts of local parishes to continue a bus service between Axminster, Hawkchurch and Thorncombe. This is an extremely good example of partnership working between Devon County Council and Dorset Community Transport across two counties, with an excellent result for local residents.”
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael’s, said: “Local residents and I welcome Devon County’s commitment to keeping this service on the road. I am worried for the long term future, if we are unable to attract fare paying passengers in larger numbers. The bus company needs to help encourage these vital fare paying passengers to really establish this much needed service for our concessionary bus pass residents and visitors.”
Councillor Jim Knight, Devon County Councillor for Seaton Coastal, said: “I’m pleased that Devon County Council is increasing its support for the Service 20 to Taunton. It’s a route that is vital to the Seaton area, and losing this service would mean that only Exeter is available for major items. Residents will now be able to continue on this valuable service.”
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