Why bus it?

In association with the Somerset Bus Partnership

With spiralling fuel costs and rising inflation hitting garage bills has there ever been a better time to bus it?

Somerset Council is joining forces with the Somerset Bus Partnership which represents passengers to encourage more people in the county to use the bus.

It’s not just about what you put in your fuel tank, it’s how much you have to spend on taxing, servicing and insuring your vehicle. Now’s the time to look at what you could be saving.

Using the bus can save money and it can save wear and tear on your car. There are all sorts of deals with bus operators which can save you money.

£2 Bus fare for any single journey is extended to December 2024

The Government has announced this week that the £2 fare cap for any single journey across Somerset and England will stay in place until December 2024. The news comes as Somerset Council launches the latest phase of the ‘Bus It’ campaign.

Bus It for 'Less than a latte' and safeguard services

Bus It for ‘Less than a latte’ is the message, as we kick-off a campaign to drive up passenger numbers on four key bus routes. The campaign is being launched with news that £2 countywide fares are set to continue to December 2024 thanks to continued Government support.

The latest round of the ‘Bus It’ campaign – supported by bus passenger group the Somerset Bus Partnership, aims to support four at risk First South routes serving Taunton, Yeovil, Minehead, Dulverton and Wincanton. Working with the bus operator, we will be targeting communities along the at-risk routes, raising awareness of the services and highlighting the affordability of bus travel and the many other upsides of leaving the car at home.

Any single bus fare in the county still costing just £2 thanks to ongoing Government support – less than the price of latte from most high street coffee shops. We have stepped in to subsidise the following services until the end of March 2024

Read more – Bus it for less than a latte and safeguard services

Don't forget - you can go anywhere for your £2 single fare!

It’s worth remembering that the initiative applies to cross-county services, which means for example you can travel from Street to Bristol or Yeovil to Bridport for just £2.

The 13 operators involved in the scheme in Somerset are:

• Bakers Dolphin
• Community Transport (South West) Ltd
• FromeBus
• Libra Travel
• Mendip Community Transport
• Somerset Council
• Dartline
• Faresaver Buses
• First South West (Buses of Somerset)
• First West of England
• Hatch Green Coaches
• South West Coaches

New evening bus services introduced from 30 January 2023

Evening bus services on some key routes in Somerset began running from 30 January 2023.

Somerset Council is subsidising evening services from Monday to Saturday connecting Taunton with the towns of Minehead, Bridgwater, Wellington and Chard after 8pm and running to at least 10.30pm. Currently most of the services stop between 8pm and 8.30pm

The evening bus routes are as follows:

1E – Taunton to Priorswood/Musgrove Park/Silk Mills Park and Ride – hourly service with last departure from Taunton Parade to Silk Mills 10.35pm and last departure from Taunton Parade to Priorswood at 11.05pm.

21 – Bridgwater to Taunton (Musgrove Park Hospital) – hourly service with last departure from Musgrove Park Hospital to Bridgwater Bus Station 11.03pm and last departure from Bridgwater Bus Station to Musgrove Park Hospital 10.15pm.

22 – Wellington to Taunton – hourly service with last departure from Taunton Castle Way at 11.05pm and last departure from Wellington High Street at 11.50pm.

28 – Minehead to Taunton – (including diversion via Cotford St Luke and Norton Fitzwarren on last three journeys in each direction). Additional journeys at 8.30pm and 10.30pm from Taunton Castle Way and 8.45pm and 10.15pm from Minehead, Butlins.

30 – Taunton to Chard – Additional journeys at 8.10pm and 10.10.pm from Taunton Parade to Chard (via Taunton Gateway Park and Ride) and an additional journey 9.11pm from Chard, Boden Street.

A new £1 fare for any single bus journey is launched in Taunton

There’s never been a better time to ‘Bus It’ in Taunton as a new £1 fare for any single bus journey in the town comes into effect from Monday (December 5).

The major fare cut arrives just in time for the festive season and is part of a radical shake-up of bus services under Somerset Council’s Government-funded Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

The aim is to boost bus use while helping passengers to save money as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, fuelled in part by high petrol and diesel prices.

The £1 single fare applies to journeys in the Taunton ‘zone’.

Map of bus stop locations within the Taunton bus fare zone. There is a boundary drawn around the town of Taunton, and there are markers in the locations of the bus stops across the town.

The benefits

Look at the finances – can you save money?

You can use the online calculator here: Car costs calculator – Money Helper to work out your car running costs and check out the ticket deals on our links to local bus operators.
Whether it’s commuting or day-tripping you could be saving money with some of the options available, so why not take a look?

You can work out the fuel costs of your journey here: Fuel Calculators – Fuel Economy

Protect the environment

Catching the bus takes your car off the road – if 50 people take the bus instead of commuting that’s 50 cars fewer heading into town. Factor in bus lanes and the amount of time you’re sitting in traffic at the busiest times and there are even more reasons to bus it.
You could be saving money, and you’ll definitely be cutting carbon.

Time for you

On the bus, you can read your book, catch up with friends on your phone, check emails, or just relax and watch the Somerset scenery pass by. How does that compare with your car commute?

Can I save?

A £100 ticket bundle from Buses of Somerset buys you 20-day tickets – that’s unlimited travel for £5 per day which can be used flexibly at any point in the year. If your daily commute by car is a round trip of 30 miles your petrol cost per day using an average consumption of 35 mpg is around £7.24 per day – that’s around £144 for 20 days. If your daily commute is a round trip of 50 miles that’s a daily cost of about £12, so £240 for a 20-day period.

Find out more about Buses of Somerset ticket bundles (right) as well as weekly and monthly passes on Buses of Somerset – Ticket prices

Are you using your bus pass? Have you applied for your bus pass?

If you’re not using your bus pass you’re missing out on unlimited free travel across the county after 9.30 am. You could be exploring Wells, Minehead, Taunton, Glastonbury and Bath as well as visiting Exmoor.
Now’s the time to live life to the full and make the most of your bus pass!

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply on our Concessionary bus passes page.

Flexible transport – Somerset’s Slinky Bus

Slinky Bus is a door-to-door demand-responsive transport service funded by Somerset Council for people not served by or unable to access conventional public transport. All the vehicles are accessible and the service can be used for various purposes including; getting to local health appointments or exercise classes, visiting friends or family, going shopping or attending social events. You can also use Slinky as a link to access other forms of public transport. Plan your bus journey, and find links to operators, Slinky and community transport on our Somerset Think Travel portal

Last reviewed: February 7, 2024 by Kailani

Next review due: August 7, 2024

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