COMMUNITIES are working together to find more transport solutions for locals, after controversial cuts were made to bus services across Dorset.

The number of bus services subsidised by Dorset County Council was cut last month from 35 to seven.

Services axed under the council’s cuts in July included the 212 Dorchester to Yeovil, the 311 Blandford to Dorchester, the 44 Bridport to West Bay and the 201 Bridport to Litton Cheney.

These cuts, agreed by the council following a consultation last year, came as the county council tries to make £1.85 million in savings.

However, to help meet the county’s needs, the council is encouraging communities to kick start their own transport schemes, with the help of its community transport fund and a toolkit that gives helpful advice to communities wanting to start such a scheme – which can be found on the dorsetforyou website.

It is hoped these arrangements will be more flexible to community needs and that support from the council will make setting them up as easy as possible.

There are currently more than 60 such schemes covering 91 per cent of the county, according to the council, and now a few more schemes have started trial periods over the summer holidays.

These services can provide transport for social events, medical appointments and getting people to work, and can run to regular timetables or be one-offs to take people to local events or attractions.

One scheme being trialled is the Bridport Community Bus (CB3), which provides a Saturday service connecting Beaminster to Bridport with four return journeys.

Both town councils worked with the county council to secure the service.

Dorset Community Transport is also providing a number of services over the holidays.

These include service 44, which runs from Bridport to Litton Cheney, service 210, which runs from Bridport to West bay, service 71, which covers Lyme Regis, and service 73, which runs from Powerstock to Bridport.

Added to this, Piddle Valley Ring and Ride is running a Wednesday and Friday service to Dorchester and a Monday to Friday Ring and Ride service will connect Maiden Newton through various villages to Dorchester, both of which must be booked by 3pm on the day before.

Cllr Daryl Turner, the county council’s Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said: “In the current financial climate, the role of the county council in subsidising public transport has had to change. Instead of imposing timetables, we are working with communities to help them find solutions that fit better and are not reliant on future funding.”

To find out more about what’s already available in your area or to find out how to set up a community transport scheme, visit


t: 01305 830987


twitter: @DorsetEchoIvor