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.

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

Somerset Council

In 2022 the four previous District Councils, were amalgamated into the single unitary authority, Somerset Council, based in Taunton.

The Council’s duties and services are managed by the elected Councillors (known within the Council as Members). It is responsibilities include:

    • Building and Planning 

    • Bins and Recycling

    • Council Tax and Benefits

    • Housing

    • Environment and Street Care and Cleaning

    • Car Parks

    • Council Tax and Council Tax Benefit

    • Social Housing and Housing Benefits

    • Education

    • Social Services: Adult, Childrens, Young people

    • Emergency Planning

    • Highways and Road Safety

    • Rights of Way

    • Libraries and Museums

    • Economic Development

    • Elections

    • Food Safety and Hygiene

    • Licensing

    • Markets

    • Sports Centres

    • Tree Preservation

Visit the Somerset Council website for more information – 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/

Paying your council tax bill

Somerset Council is the 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 Somserset Councils website gives you information about how to pay your Council tax bill and how to contact them.


The 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.


Member of Parliament

Your MP, for the Parliamentary Constituency of Yeovil, is Adam Dance. 


Westminster office

020 7219 4527
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

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