People living on the south side of Wellington will have no public transport to the centre of town when the No 20 bus route ends in July. Both Devon and Somerset county councils voted to end the subsidy for the Stagecoach service which also serves the villages of West Buckland, Culmstock and Hemyock.
At present the bus runs down South St, Wellesley Park and Barn Meads Rd before heading off into the Blackdowns. It is a much used route to the shops for the elderly.
“There are quite a lot of older people here who don’t have any extended family to help them get shopping,” said resident Chris Williams, who has written to SCC opposing the closure decision. “For them it’s going to have to be a taxi into town.”
County and town councillor Ross Henley is angered by the decision. “Its ludicrous of the Conservative-run county councils in Devon and Somerset to stop the bus service . Many residents rely on that bus to go to the doctors, to shop , to socialise or use the library,” sai8d Cllr Henley.
Wellington town clerk has contacted Webber Bus to begin discussions and see if the current 12 & 15 routes linking Wellington to Taunton and Bridgwater might be partially re-routed to restore a service to south Wellington.
Chris Williams argues that the Wellington-Taunton route has so many bus options that it would make sense to begin the 20 route at Wellington, thus making Somerset CC liable for the much lower subsidy for the three miles from Wellington centre to the county border near the Monument.
“And I just don’t know how Devon can justify the lack of a service to major villages like Culmstock and Hemyock,” he added.