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COMMUTERS will be able to travel between Bridport and Yeovil during peak times and college holidays.

Bus operator Damory has announced a permanent extension to their number 40 service following a surge in demand from customers – and peak time services will run year round.

The changes will come into effect on Monday, July 28.

The exact times have not yet been announced, but are expected to be published on Monday, July 21.

Commuters and students were given a temporary lifeline when Dorset County Council approved a short-term route registration in June following the demise of the troubled 47 service run by First.

DCC agreed to subsidise a service at peak hours during term time, a statutory requirement.

But the temporary offer by Damory, which came after an anonymous donation to keep the service running, attracted criticism from commuters because the earliest bus did not leave Bridport early enough for them to reach Yeovil in time for work.

Damory has now announced that the 40 service will operate six days a week, from Monday to Saturday and during college holidays.

The service will now operate from Bridport, stopping at Melplash, Beaminster, Broadwindsor, Mosterton, Misterton, Crewkerne Station, Crewkerne and Yeovil.

Dorset County Council will subsidise peak time services from Monday to Friday during term time - with Damory funding off peak journeys from Monday to Friday and all day Saturday.

Damory confirmed peak time services will run during college holidays as well as term time.

A spokesperson for Damory said: “We know how eager customers in the region are for the service to be extended - particularly those needing to reach the college - and we have been working very hard behind the scenes to make this happen.

“The views of local people are incredibly important to us because we need to know they will make good use of an extended route before we can give it the go-ahead. 

“We are always looking for ways to enhance our service wherever possible. And I’m delighted that we are able to do so in this instance.”

“In this case, the demand was particularly strong for a route out to Yeovil, following the decision by another operator to cease its number 47 service.”