Labour opposes closure of Yeovil depot
First Group announced yesterday that they would close the maintenance depot in Reckleford, Yeovil. The news comes hot on the heels of the closure of the Bridgwater bus depot. First Group had already committed to selling the depot for some time. Attempts to sell the building proved unsuccessful.
Instead First Group will now demolish the buildings and sell the site for development. First say that the number of buses being serviced in Yeovil has fallen from 43 to 9. However they have also said the service will be unaffected.
That said, recent timetable changes added to those last year have seen some reduction in the service. This applies to services both within Yeovil and between Yeovil and Taunton.
Labour believe the closure of the Yeovil garage will mean that more buses will be taken out of service. Maintenance and minor defects that are currently dealt with at the site will have to be done elsewhere. They also claim that recent closure of the Bridgewater bus depot have led to significant problems.
Labour spokesperson and Chair of Yeovil Labour Party, Terry Ledlie told The Leveller: “There is no doubt in my mind that the planned closure will lead to more bus cancellations and more customer misery. Bus services are not nearly frequent enough as it is, so the risk of further delays will be greeted with horror. First Bus trying to close the Yeovil bus garage is another turn of the screw for our town, which is already reeling from news of the closure of Pittards and the botched Yeovil regeneration project. Yeovil deserves better.
Somerset already has the second worst bus services in the country, in terms of available routes and bus frequency. This impacts negatively on the local economy and on education and health. Services need to improve dramatically and that definitely cannot be done by closing the main local bus maintenance garage.”