RESIDENTS and councillors are still fighting to save a vital bus service. 
But there is new hope after angry protesters confronted councillors last week against cuts to the No 40 'core' bus.

Cuts to the service, which was described by protesters as a 'trunk route', no longer serves Netherbury, Gerards Green and villages north of Beaminster.

At a Western Area Transport Action Group last week, Dorset Travel service manager at Dorset County Council, Chris Hook said First Dorset would be operating an hourly service between Beaminster and Bridport Hospital on weekdays. 

Mr Hook added the 7.30am bus from Bridport to Yeovil will become an 'open service' allowing commuters as well as students to use the service. 

At the meeting, Bridport councillor Ros Kayes called the cuts 'abysmal' saying they had stopped people from Crewkerne, Yeovil and the smaller villages in between coming to Bridport and Beaminster. 

Residents expressed fears that the reduced bus service would leave elderly residents unable to reach Bridport Hospital and one resident said the county council had a legal requirement to make access to medical venues possible.

However, yesterday, Cllr Kayes renewed hope when she said there had been 'positive changes' and 'a lot of issues had been sorted' after a high level meeting on Monday.

She said she felt protesters had been listened to and hoped the council would provide a viable and better service than before. 

Dorset County Council said details were still being finalised and they were unable to comment on the bus service at this time.