It looks like villages in North East Somerset which risked being left with no bus services, have been thrown a lifeline by two local companies and the West of England Combined Authority.
When First announced it was withdrawing the service from 9th October it also announced a replacement 379 bus between Bristol, Radstock and Bath. But this would not serve villages south of Keynsham such as Marksbury, Farmborough and High Littleton. The 178 also provided a key link for people living on the east side of Keynsham to reach the town centre and for students attending St Brendan’s College at Brislington.
Today, Regional Mayor Dan Norris announced he was in final talks with Abus and Citistar to run a replacement 178 bus service. The timetable and start date is yet to be published but the service is being supported by £22,000-a-month funding from the West of England Combined Authority.
Mayor Norris said: “I promised we’d throw the kitchen sink at this, and we have. Now I’d ask passengers to use this service taking advantage of our new, cheaper fares. That’s vital for its future viability.
“I know some communities in other parts of the region will still miss out and my heart goes out to them – but I’m proud that we have saved over half of services due to be cut. Buses matter. They allow local communities to thrive and are so, so vital if we’re going to meet our ambitious net-zero targets”.