Proposal to close bus service to village

On 1 February 2013, we heard from Ian Bruce, our local Borough Councillor, that First Group had decided to cut the service to the village, just running route 4 from Weymouth to Seven Acres Road. A public meeting was held in the Mission Hall on the 23rd February, organised by Ian Bruce, at which unanimous outrage was expressed at the First Group proposal; a number of villagers spoke eloquently about the need for a bus service to the village, and the impact it would have on them. Numbers of villagers wrote to First Bus, expressing their concerns and anger.

A second public meeting was held in the Weymouth Pavilion on the evening of the 28th February, to discuss the various changes proposed by First Bus in the Weymouth area. The most significant of these changes was probably the removal of any service to Southill, but the removal of the service to Sutton Poyntz was also discussed at length. The village of Sutton Poyntz was very well represented. This meeting was chaired by Richard Drax MP, with the assistance of Ian Bruce, and was attended by representatives of First Bus. It became clear that the main reason why First proposed to cut the service into Sutton Poyntz was the difficult access for their buses along Sutton Road; in addition the economics of the service were clearly marginal.

A number of villagers spoke eloquently at the meeting, and it became fairly evident at the end of the meeting that there was a slight chance of persuading First to change their minds, if solutions to their access and economic problems could be found.

At this point the Sutton Poyntz Society wrote to First Group, suggesting that they should maintain a reduced service, which would attract the same number of passengers and therefore could be run economically, while a solution to the access difficulties was sought; the Sutton Poyntz Society offered to apply its influence to help to achieve a satisfactory solution to this.

Bus service saved

Three days after the Society's letter to First Group, we heard, again via Ian Bruce, that First Group had agreed to a solution precisely along the lines that we had proposed. Rather than a bus every 40 minutes, they would run buses into the village every hour. They proposed a number of specific measures to help traffic flow along Sutton Road, and set a deadline for a solution to be decided and implemented. The Sutton Poyntz Society expect to be involved in decisions about the detailed measures for Sutton Road, and will use its influence to ensure that a satisfactory solution is found. We are attending a site meeting on Tuesday 26th March.

A number of villagers gathered at the end of Old Bincombe Lane (where the buses turn) on the 7th March, to hear from Ian Bruce about the happy outcome, and to celebrate the village's achievement of a victory for common sense (see the Echo report).

New bus timetable

Go to our bus service page for information on the new timetable, starting Monday 25th March 2013.

Bus service rescued