A new early morning bus journey might help fill the gap left by the withdrawal of a peak commuter route.

The B5 has been extended and the journey will launch on Monday (December 3) between Bridport and Crewkerne with a connection available from Crewkerne to Yeovil.

Operated by First Wessex, it will run Mondays to Fridays on school days only, shown as service number B5, and offer the opportunity for people to get to Crewkerne early in the morning to make connections on services to other destinations.

It is an extension of school run the B5, which runs to Beaminster School from the Drimpton and Crewkerne area. The bus had been running empty from the bus depot in Bridport to Misterton, and so the service has been extended to start in Bridport. As such, no additional funding is required at the moment, but campaign group the West Dorset Western Area Transport Action Group (WATAG) hopes to extend the service further to operate during school holidays.

The new timetable is as follows:

Bridport Nationwide 07.12

Bradpole Kings Head 07.21

Melplash Half Moon 07.26

Beaminster Square 07.32

Mosterton Admiral Hood 07.39

Misterton White Swan** 07.44

Crewkerne Station Approach 07.46

Crewkerne Kings Arms 07.54

** There is a connecting bus to Yeovil from Misterton White Swan operated by South West Coaches, shown as Service 96A, to the following timetable:

Misterton White Swan 08.12

Yeovil Bus Station 08.48

As well as seeking a school holiday service, WATAG is in discussion with First Wessex and Buses of Somerset to explore the possibility of a later return service from Yeovil and Crewkerne. Currently, the last service from Yeovil and Crewkerne is operated by Buses of Somerset (Mondays to Fridays), as the number 40 at 16.35.

Commuter routes were controversially scrapped on the Service 40 by the county council last month. It introduced a new timetable which no longer included, amongst other routes, the 7.30 Bridport to Yeovil or 17.15 Yeovil to Bridport.

The changes upset many students, schoolchildren, parents and commuters left unable to get to their place of work or education in time for a 9am or start or back again after 5pm.

A spokesman for WATAG said: "We are, of course, pleased, but there is still much to do to make the service along the whole Bridport – Beaminster – Crewkerne – Yeovil truly 'fit for purpose' and genuinely useful."