Wells MP launches bus petition

Yesterday we reported that service 173 from Wells to Bath was not going to be withdrawn by FirstGroup. Simultaneously FirstGroup announced they would withdraw the Wells to Weston super Mare bus 126 instead. The bus service provides a vital lifeline for the communities along the Cheddar Valley including Cheddar and Axbridge. It provides public transport to Weston College and Weston Hospital.

First Group claim the service is not financially viable.

Wells MP James Heappey said he will press First Group for the numbers to show the service is loss making. Today he launched a petition to save the service. Mr Heappey says he wants as many people as possible to sign. Armed with that, he says he will pressure Somerset and North Somerset councils to step in.

In some ways the MP for Wells is in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand as a constituency MP he wants to make sure his constituents get a decent service. He will no doubt work hard for this. But he is also a government minister and a member of the the very government that has failed to support buses in Somerset. Earlier this year Somerset County Council bid for £163m to improve rural bus services. Exactly the sort of service that the 126 is. The government offered them just £11.9m.

If you’d like to sign Mr Heappey’s petition, you can do so Here: https://www.jamesheappey.org.uk/campaigns/save-126-wells-weston-bus?fbclid=IwAR05upz-HcseL7EXN2tSk4alSCLOw5KCxK0vXuFnHemkkN0nDVl_WTipI8I


  • We have a similar problem in Frome with the reduction of the D2 bus service into Bath which will greatly affect the town and it’s neighbouring villages. Regular commuters, especially health workers, hospital patients and students, will greatly suffer. As a Somerset Councillor, I don’t need Mr. Heappey to organise a petition to persuade me or my colleagues that these services need supporting- we have been dealing with the fall-out of bus privatisation for years. As you point out, Mr. Heappey’s government has hugely under-funded Somerset bus services. At a time when there is a short-fall of some 45 million from next year’s council budget, he might do better than pass the buck. Still, at least he has responded. In Frome, we are expecting little action from our MP, David Warburton, on the matter. Martin Dimery Leader Green Party Somerset County Council and Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton and Frome.

  • “You can’t run with the hare and chase with the hounds”!

    Suffice the Honourable Member for Wells in denial of Sedgemoor and Mendip District Councils having got together to put in a Levelling Up bid to Government. The two councils are asking for £19.3m. The bid is being supported by £2.4m in match funding from Sedgemoor and Mendip District Councils. This would bring the total value of the investment to £21.9m. Local pressure has helped to save the 173 Bus, First have simply swung the axe elsewhere instead. The 126 service from Wells to Weston super mare has been withdrawn instead. For a large community such as Wells, with no rail access, to remove public transport on this scale seems incomprehensible. It leaves people isolated, and pushes them towards using cars. Which runs against government policy at all levels of government.

    The writer acquainted with former MPs, Robert Boscawen MC, David Heathcoat Amory, Tessa Munt ‘assiduous’ in the interest of their constituents. Tessa was elected to the Wells Constituency. Conservatives having ‘lost’ the plot. History does repeat itself and the writer commends to Major Heappey ‘recess-reading’ David Heathcoat Amory’s ‘Confessions of a Euro Sceptic’ P152 “There was another threat, that I thought I could remove the UKIP candidate in Wells, usually got about 1,600 votes & most of these would otherwise have come from me, this nearly happened in 1997 and was certainly the reason we lost Frome & Somerton to the Lib Dems, in that election. 1711 votes did it for Wells! Yours truly ‘agent’ for UKIP PPC Jake Baynes.

    “(HMG) go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity”. (WSC)

  • Why petition yourself? The ultimate cause is penny pinching tories. Who by the way still hanker for a royal yacht. Public transport is never a priority to the privileged few with a ministerial car….

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