8th April 2020

WebberBus to cease operation from tomorrow ‘due to financial difficulties’

Somerset County Council is stepping in to make sure dozens of important bus routes are covered after one of its key operators informed it that it will cease to operate.

Wherever possible the authority is arranging for other bus companies to take on the routes provided by Bridgwater-based Webberbus Ltd which informed the Council today that it will cease to operate from tomorrow morning (Friday 13 May) due to financial difficulties.

Affected services include those serving six schools, four colleges and more than a dozen public routes.

Council staff are working flat-out to make the alternative arrangements and are confident that all services taking students to schools and colleges will be covered by replacement services from tomorrow morning.

From tomorrow there should also be cover for the public routes where there are no other reasonable alternatives.

On routes already covered by other operators, they will be doing their best to fill the gaps.

Somerset County Council have received reports of some disruption to services this afternoon and are working very hard to confirm these reports and if necessary will put alternative arrangements in place to get school children home as quickly as possible.

Affected schools and colleges are being contacted, and parents of students sent texts informing them of the new arrangements, where they have opted into the text alerts.

“We put our contingency plans into action immediately and are doing everything we can to keep disruption to an absolute minimum in what is a very difficult situation” said Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet member for Highways.

“Webberbus is by some distance the second largest operator in the county and organising replacement services at very short notice is a significant task.

Thanks to the hard work of staff and flexibility of other providers, we’re getting there.”

Below is a current list of the affected Webberbus services, and replacements where they have been arranged.

Public Service Routes

  • 10 Minehead – Pollock – First are providing a replacement service.
  • 12/15 Wellington – Taunton – Bridgwater – Use First services 21/21A/22/22A. Extra capacity will be provided where necessary
  • 16/24 Minehead – Bridgwater – See First service 15 for Minehead/Carhampton/Williton/Watchet/Nether Stowey to Bridgwater College. First service 14 and X14 operates between Bridgwater and Cannington
  • 18 Minehead – Taunton Use – First service 28, extra capacity will be provided where necessary
  • 19 Bridgwater – Street – First will replace journeys previously operated by WebberBus
  • 26 Wells – Weston-super-Mare – Use First service 126. Additional capacity will be provided for Easton to Wells Blue School journeys
  • 27 Creech – Taunton – Use First service 29
  • 34 Yeovil – Bridgwater – Hatch Green service 16 is available
  • 37 / 375 Bridgwater – Street – Wells – First will reinstate service 375 and provide additional capacity where necessary
  • 38 Taunton – Street – Wells Use – First service 55
  • 62/66 Weston/Axbridge – Bridgwater College – First will provide these services
  • 67 Wells – Turnham-On-Sea – First will provide replacement service
  • 75 Weston – Burnham – Bridgwater Use – First routes 20/21/21A. Additional capacity provided where necessary
  • 76 Weston – Burnham Use – First service 20
  • 101 Minehead Town Service – First will provide this service
  • 623 Wellington – Bridgwater College – First will provide replacement service
  • Bridgwater Town Services – First will provide replacement services
  • Taunton Town Services – Use existing First Taunton Town services

School Routes

  • C559D Hargrove – Bakers Dolphin
  • C510A Robert Blake Science College – First
  • C511J Robert Blake Science College – Bakers Dolphin
  • C567D Chilton Trinity – Coombs
  • C524A Chilton Trinity – Crosville
  • C504A Bridgwater College Academy and Kingsmoor – First
  • C015B Catcott Primary – Fairview
  • C535G Hargrove – Bakers Dolphin
  • WB26 The Blue School – First
  • WB16 (pm only) Danesfield – A number of solutions have been put in place for individual pupils. Parents are being informed. The morning services are all unaffected.