Police are investigating a suspected arson attack on a Somerset Council compound in Taunton which has destroyed seven minibuses.

The incident happened early this morning (Thursday, 24 August) in a secure compound at the Silk Mills Park and Ride site in Taunton. The compound was locked and is monitored by CCTV.

There were no injuries and no other vehicles were damaged. All Park and Ride services are running as normal from the site.

Due to the school holidays the wider impact was lessened and all Council-run services that operate from Silk Mills (bus services 3, 12 and S1,2 and 3, learning disability routes, Community Transport and the Slinky Demand responsive service) are continuing to operate as normal.

Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Communities, Housing and Culture said:

This is an appalling incident and we are providing all the help we can to police to assist their ongoing investigation.
Thankfully Somerset Council currently has sufficient vehicles to maintain all services from Taunton whilst schools are off and our team is working to source replacement vehicles over the next week with the aim of providing all services from this depot when schools return in early September.
I’d urge anyone who has any information they think can help the investigation to contact police immediately.

Avon and Somerset Police have released the following statement:

Police are investigating a fire at a Somerset Council vehicle compound in Taunton after Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service reported a suspected arson.
Officers were called at about 1.50am on Thursday 24 August to Silk Mills Lane, Taunton.
Seven council minibuses were burnt out in the incident.

If you were in the Silk Mills Lane area at around that time, please get in touch, especially if you have any dashcam or other footage which could help the investigation.

Please call 101 and give the reference 5223204747. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or online at Give information (crimestoppers-uk.org).

About this article

August 24, 2023

Andrew Doyle

Press Release