A COMMUNITY has come together to fight back against cuts to bus services.

A new community bus has been set up linking rural communities to a nearby town.

The new CB3 service links villages around Bridport, Beaminster and Crewkerne with these towns on a Saturday.

The service is being run by Beaminster Town Council with help from Dorset County Council.

The county council donated a minibus that was surplus from its own fleet to help the community service start. It also helped to train volunteer drivers.

Cllr Daryl Turner, county council member for natural and built environment, said: “We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to help the town councils provide this Saturday service for local residents.

“Dorset has 90 voluntary car schemes, dial-a-rides and other community transport initiatives across Dorset that are based upon local need. They have an important place in offering bespoke services to the people that use them.”

CB3 has also applied for a community transport grant to help with its running costs.

Cllr Chris Turner, chairman of Beaminster Town Council, added: “There’s a lot to get organised to provide a community bus, but it is worth it. We hope that local people use this service and that we can build up our crew of volunteers.”

The community bus comes after Dorset County Council announced in February 2017 it would cut subsidies for bus services in a bid to save £1.85m. A host of services were deregistered across West Dorset as a result.

To help meet the county’s needs, the council encouraged communities to kick start their own transport schemes with the help of its community transport fund and a toolkit offering advice.

Details of community transport schemes can be found by searching 'community transport' at dorsetforyou.gov.uk.

The county council offers support and advice to communities who want to provide transportation for local people. Officers can help local groups find a solution that works for them. To find a scheme near you, search ‘community transport maps.’