New year revolutions on the shopper hopper

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People living in Weston-super-Mare will be able to start the new year with a trip to the shops on a new bus service designed to help them get to the town’s supermarkets and central shopping areas.

The new number 9 service will run Monday to Friday, three times a day between West Wick and the bus interchange at Alexandra Parade. The route will include Worle retail park, Worle Lidl, Queensway, Lower Kewstoke Road, Church Road, Worlebury, Ashbury Drive, Baytree Road, Aisecome Way retail park, Winterstoke Road retail parks and the town centre.

Journeys will run between 10.20am and 3pm with the service starting on Tuesday 2 January and will be free for travel card holders or a maximum of £2 each way for other passengers. Everyone travels free during their birthday month – apply online at  www.birthdaybus.co.uk.

Cllr Hannah Young, executive member for highways and transport at North Somerset Council said: “Since the withdrawal of the number 50 service at the end of August we’ve been working hard to find a solution for people in Worlebury, so I’m really pleased that we’re able to use some of our Bus Service Improvement Plan funding to give our residents back a bus.

“This new route serves eight supermarkets, all the retail parks and the town centre giving people access to a wide choice of shopping options.

“As with all subsidised services though, the message is use it or lose it, as we have no certainty of future funding for this route. Given the strength of local feeling when the service was withdrawn we are hopeful that it will be popular so it can be viable commercially in the future.”

The new service will be operated by First West of England. The timetable and route map for the new service will be available at www.travelwest.info later this month.

More information about the Bus Service Improvement Plan, funded by the Department for Transport, is available on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/bsip.