Buses Under Treat

April 2022 was meant to augur in a new era for our buses. It was the month when the £3 billion as part of Bus Back Better, National Strategy for Buses for England, could be used to improve bus services. People could be invited to abandon their cars and opt for the ‘greener’ option of going by bus on journeys to nearby towns and villages.

To improve buses across the county, Somerset had put in a bid for £163 million of Bus Back Better money. That was the sum of money Somerset needed because Somerset bus services currently are the worst rated of any county in England. But the Bus Back Better fund has been over subscribed 8 times by all the bids from across England and so it’s unknown how much money Somerset might get. But it’s unlikely to get anything like what Somerset needs.

The 2 years of Covid with endless warnings not to use buses has seen bus passenger numbers down 40% on pre Covid levels. This has meant the Government has had to step in and subsidise bus services in order to keep them running. To fund this the Government has diverted more than half of the £3 billion pot allocated for transforming our bus services to just maintain our current bus services.

Worse still, the Government has still not said whether it will keep funding our existing bus services from April.

If it doesn’t, then without this subsidy, bus services across the county (including here in Somerset) could “fall off the side of the cliff” (as said by Wera Hobhouse, Bath MP). It’s been estimated 30% of bus services would go. Some bus services could even disappear completely.


Without this Covid Bus Recovery Grant, a leading bus operator has said, “The bus sector is hurtling towards disaster.”

So what can we do?

Could you please … today … send an email (doesn’t need to be long) to the Government Buses Minister demanding that the Covid-19 Bus Recovery Grant funding is continued beyond April.

Send it to

BARONESS VERE OF NORBITON (Buses Minister) - email verec@parliament.uk.

Also copy your email to your MP:

MARCUS FYSH (Yeovil) - email marcus.fysh.mp@parliament.uk

Please also copy in Somerset Bus Partnership to any emails too. Our email address: somersetbuspartnership@gmail.com .

Additionally, if you should speak to any of the candidates for the Somerset Unitary Council May 5th elections, please ask them what their plans are to protect and improve our bus services here in Somerset. There’s never been a time when our bus services in Somerset have been at so much risk.

Somerset Bus Partnership Team https://www.somersetbuspartnership.co.uk

South Somerset District Council

South Somerset is a local government district in Somerset, England.  The South Somerset district covers an area of 370 square miles ranging from the borders with Devon, Wiltshire and Dorset to the edge of the Somerset Levels. It has a population of approximately 158,000. The administrative centre of the district is Yeovil. 

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, and was originally known as Yeovil, adopting its present name in 1985. It was formed by the merger of the municipal boroughs of Chard, Yeovil, along with Crewkerne and Ilminster urban districts and the Chard Rural District, Langport Rural District, Wincanton Rural District and Yeovil Rural District.  The Council covers the whole of the Yeovil constituency, and part of Somerton and Frome.

SSDC responsibilities fall into: Building and Planning, Bins and Recycling, Council Tax and Benefits, Housing, Environment and Street Care and Cleaning, and include:

  • Building Regulations

  • Car Parks

  • Council Tax and Council Tax Benefit

  • Social Housing and Housing Benefit

  • Economic Development

  • Elections

  • Food Safety and Hygiene

  • Licensing

  • Local Plans and Planning Applications

  • Markets

  • Refuse Collection

  • Sports Centres

  • Street Cleaning

  • Tree Preservation

To find out about your area: everything you need to know from bin collection dates to your local district councillor– just type in your postcode in this link. 


Paying your council tax bill

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) is the council responsible for collecting Council Tax and dealing with Benefits so they are the best people for you to talk to.

There are a number of ways you can pay Council tax or get in touch about it.  This link to SSDC’s website gives you information about how to pay your Council tax bill and how to contact them.


The District Council will send you a council tax bill at the beginning of each financial year (usually mid-March) to let you know the amount you need to pay on a monthly basis.


Somerset County Council

The County Council, based in Taunton is the last tier before national government. The Council’s duties and services are managed by the 58 elected Councillors (known within the Council as Members). Its responsibilities include:

  • Education

  • Social Services: Adult, Childrens, Young people

  • Emergency Planning

  • Highways and Road Safety

  • Rights of Way

  • The Environment, Waste Disposal and Mineral Sites

  • Libraries and Museums

In Somerset there are four district councils: Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and West Somerset; and one borough council: Taunton Deane.

Visit the Somerset County Council website – www.somerset.gov.uk

The County also deals with floods as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) as defined by the new Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Flood Risk Regulations 2009. Find more information here: http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/strategies/flood-and-water-management/

Member of Parliament

Your MP, for the Parliamentary Constituency of Yeovil, is Marcus Fysh. 


Constituency office
01935 314321
21-22 High Street, Yeovil, BA20 1RF


Westminster office
020 7219 4527
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA


Marcus on Facebook

Marcus on Twitter


District Councillor
Sue Osborne is the District Councillor for Windwhistle Ward.  She can be contacted by email:  Sue.Osborne@SouthSomerset.gov.uk

County Councillor