Dorset Council Weymouth Route 3 Bus Service To Continue In Winter
Working in collaboration with Dorset Council, First Bus South will continue to run the Route 3 bus service for passengers in Westham and Southill.
First South originally trialled the Number 3 service from June this year, creating a route that served residents in the Southill area. Despite best efforts by all involved, the route didn’t get the patronage required to make it commercially viable. Based on previous data, passenger numbers were expected to fall further, with a significant drop through the winter.
To ensure the service can run over the winter, Dorset Council has agreed to financially support the route until April 2024. At this point, First Bus South hope to continue the service through the more profitable summer months without Council subsidy.
The Route 3 starts and finishes at Weymouth King’s Statue via Westham and Southill and return. It will continue to run to its current timetable: Mondays to Fridays from 9.30am to 2.20pm.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:
“I’d like to thank everyone who has used and campaigned for this service, especially Weymouth councillors Tony Ferrari and Louie O’Leary, who have been strong supporters of the number 3 bus since its reintroduction was proposed.
“It’s important for all councils to strike a balance between responsible use of public funds and ensuring that communities can access vital services, and we want to give the bus route the best chance of long-term success.
“By keeping the service running through the winter months, First South can hopefully build on their passenger numbers as more Westham and Southill residents start to integrate this new transport option into their travel plans. This would benefit the local community and Weymouth businesses, with fewer cars on the roads resulting in better traffic flow and fewer vehicle emissions.
“We’ve also heard of bus pass holders voluntarily paying for part of their journey, which I think demonstrates the strength of support many passengers have for this service.”
First Bus South Director, James Eustace, added:
“We want to support our local communities and we continued to look for solutions to retain the Number 3 service over the winter. Working together with our local authority partners, I’m pleased to say that Dorset Council have agreed to financially support the service during the 2023 winter period. This means the service will continue to run throughout the winter, with the timetable remaining unchanged.
“The service will run until April 2024, and we will then review our plans for the service again for next summer, using real time passenger data to tell us who is using the service and when.”
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