First Bus wants a £40,00 per year contribution from Wellington town council to restore an evening bus service to Taunton. Council members rejected the offer as financially impossible.
“The figures First has quoted are outrageous and I’m bitterly disappointed over this,” said Cllr Andy Govier who back in June persuaded Somerset County Council to review the possibilities for a subsidised service.
Other councillors were equally disturbed by the bad news. “This isn’t about youngsters going pubbing and clubbing,” said Cllr John Thorne. “People need to be able to get back from visiting Musgrove or finishing work late.”
“The cost quoted by First is just ridiculous,” said Cllr Janet Lloyd. “I was excited by the possibility of restoring the service but the council can’t afford this kind of cost.”
Cllr Govier voiced the suspicion that the bus company, which has a local monopoly since the collapse of Webber Bus, had no real interest in the proposal. “First only seem interested in the most profitable routes. They priced themselves out of the market,” he said.”