Taunton bus zone launched early
The promised new bus zone for Taunton will launch on Monday (5 December). The idea mooted by Cllr Mike Rigby would see any bus journey within the Taunton bus zone (see map below) priced at a flat rate of £1.
This should result in major fare cuts just in time for the festive season. The move is part of a radical shake-up of bus services under the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). Part funded by Somerset County Council(SCC) and the Westminster Government, there will also be improvements to evening bus services to.
Introducing radical change to the way bus services are run should be the key to attracting further funding. SCC will need to look to Government in the Spring to increase funding to support use of the buses.
Cllr Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital explains it is not a brief experiment. He says “this initiative is for just over 2 years, benefitting anyone looking to get around Taunton for work, school, leisure or shopping until at least 2025. By that time we hope to have cemented bus use as a core means of travel in the town, without the need for subsidy. If we can show the Government we can increase bus patronage in Taunton we have a strong case to apply for funding to reduce fares in other towns.“
The message is clear, at a time of fuel cost increases and climate crisis. By catching the bus, you can make a difference to the climate, to our environment and save money and wear and tear on your car.
Taunton gets cheap buses (and they’ve already got cheap park and rides) whilst the rest of the county is losing bus services and paying exorbitant fares! Doesn’t bode well for the rest of us with a unitary authority does it!