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Town’s new bus timetable is “absolute nonsense” say councillors

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TOWN councillors have labelled the new D1 bus timetable as ‘absolute nonsense’ saying that half of the services from Bath and Trowbridge to Westbury now terminate at Hawke Ridge Business Park, despite pleas for people to use more public transport. 

At a meeting of Westbury Town Council on Monday 6th January, cllr Ward Jones said that having services terminate at the industrial estate was ‘blindingly ridiculous’.

The bus company, First Bus, have told White Horse News that the previous half-hourly timetable is now ‘no longer commercially viable’.

“People in the town cannot make use of the services as frequently,” said cllr Jones. “They will have to drive their car to Hawke Ridge Business Park pick up the bus and then return to collect their cars before going home. 

“We have been told to use public transport where we can, and then we find that the services into Westbury are halved without any significant consultation. 

“We need this explained and get the service back into town.”

Cllr Nick Pyne added, “I had a look at the timetable and not only is it every other service that terminates at Hawke Ridge Business Park but every bus after 9pm! If anyone wants to catch a bus after a night out in Trowbridge, well, they will have to walk the last mile and a half on unsuitable roads!”

The town council has agreed to write to First Bus, the operators of the D1 service, to ask them to join the council for a meeting to discuss the changes. 

In response to White Horse News, Simon Ford, commercial manager for First West of England said, “Going back several years, buses ran hourly between Trowbridge and Warminster via Westbury before state grant funding was put in place which allowed for the service to be increased to half hourly.

“Even though this grant funding ran out several years ago, we continued to operate the service half-hourly but on a fully commercial, non-subsidised basis.

“Having closely reviewed this route’s financial performance, it was clear that it was not now no longer commercially viable to carry on operating the half hourly service. As a result, we had no option other than to reduce the frequency of buses to and from Westbury and revert to the previous hourly service.

“We have not taken this decision lightly and recognise the inconvenience it will cause for some customers. However, these are steps we have had to take to keep the service commercially viable longer term for the benefit of the majority of customers. We constantly monitor demand across the whole network and if circumstances change, we would of course review these service changes.”

4 Responses to Town’s new bus timetable is “absolute nonsense” say councillors

  1. Philip Reed

    January 15, 2020 at 4:47 am

    It’s obvious why they’re terminating there – they store the buses up the side of Tuffnels overnight. Having said that, it’d take them a whopping ten extra minutes to continue into town via Railway Inn (and thus the railway station), Station Road, High Street then Edward Street, Haynes Road and back the reverse route. Multiple bus stops. I’m sure a big company like First can afford those extra few minutes.

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  3. sam

    January 24, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    This is a completely insane I have been driving through Hawkeridge of an evening and many times I have seen people on the high grass verges with no high vis jackets walking to Westbury. It was too late when I saw one and I just think its an accident waiting to happen.
    Surely it would make more sense to at least continue to the ham and then terminate there and continue to the depot through the industrial estate. this would at least make it safer for many people to walk in to Westbury without walking round those dangerous bends.

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