A COUNTY councillor has described the news that one of Somerset's main bus companies has ceased operating, as "devastating."

It was announced late yesterday afternoon that WebberBus, based in Bridgwater and who provide a number of routes around the county, had folded.

Somerset County Council has stepped in to try and cover the routes, and parents are being assured that school routes will still be running today.

Labour county councillor for Bridgwater South, Leigh Redman said the news was "devastating."

He added: “Devastating news that Bridgwater Bus company Webber Bus have ceased trading, I understand that officers at Somerset County are working to ensure all essential services are operational tomorrow and making plans to maintain services where possible.

"Webberbus Ltd currently provides transport serving six schools, four colleges and more than a dozen public routes (the most affected areas are Bridgwater town centre, West Somerset, Cheddar and Burnham-on-Sea areas).

"Schools and colleges served by Webberbus Secondary schools: Haygrove, Robert Blake, Bridgwater College Academy and Chilton Trinity.

"Primary schools: Kingsmoor Primary and Catcott Primary. Colleges/post 16: Bridgwater College and Strode College. Note,

"Routes into Richard Huish and SCAT may become overcrowded, but Buses of Somerset already run parallel routes.”

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: "We have responded immediately to this difficult situation and our staff are working hard to arrange for other operators to pick up these services where possible.

"We are confident that all services taking students to schools and colleges will be covered by replacement services from tomorrow morning.

"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.

"We apologise for the disruption that this has caused."

Taunton Deane MP, Rebecca Pow, said: "First of all my sympathies go out to all those whose jobs are affected by this news.

"And I realise many bus users will be affected by this unfortunate announcement.

"I am pressing Cllr David Fothergill, responsible for transport at Somerset County Council to do all in his power to minimise disruption and to support those literally left high and dry.

"This includes students trying to get to school as Webber Bus operated buses for six schools and four colleges across Somerset."

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

We will keep this page updated as replacement services are added or changed:

Public Service Routes

10 Minehead – PorlockFirst are providing a replacement service.

12/15 Wellington – Taunton – BridgwaterUse First services 21/21A/22/22A, extra capacity will be provided where necessary

16/24 Minehead – BridgwaterPlease 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 – TauntonUse First service 28, extra capacity will be provided where necessary

19 Bridgwater – StreetFirst will replace journeys previously operated by WebberBus

26 Wells – Weston-super-MareUse First service 126, additional capacity will be provided for Easton to Wells Blue School journeys

27 Creech – TauntonUse First service 29

34 Yeovil – BridgwaterHatch Green service 16 is available

37 / 375 Bridgwater – Street – WellsFirst will reinstate service 375 and provide additional capacity where necessary

38 Taunton – Street – WellsUse First service 55

62/66 Weston/Axbridge – Bridgwater CollegeFirst will provide these services

67 Wells – Burnham-on-SeaFirst will provide replacement service

75 Weston – Burnham – BridgwaterUse First routes 20/21/21A, additional capacity provided where necessary

76 Weston – BurnhamUse First service 20

101 Minehead Town ServiceFirst will provide this service

623 Wellington – Bridgwater CollegeFirst will provide replacement service

Bridgwater Town ServicesFirst will provide replacement services

Taunton Town ServicesUse existing First Taunton Town services

School Routes

Route NumberSchoolReplacement operator or route number

C559DHaygroveBakers Dolphin

C510ARobert Blake Science CollegeFirst

C511JRobert Blake Science CollegeBakers Dolphin

C567DChilton TrinityCoombs

C524AChilton TrinityCrosville

C504ABridgwater College Academy and KingsmoorFirst

C015BCatcott PrimaryFairview

C535GHaygroveBakers Dolphin

WB26The Blue SchoolFirst

WB16 (pm only)DanesfieldA number of solutions have been put in place for individual pupils – parents are being informed.  The morning services are all unaffected.