Rail strikes and concerns over the bus route leading through a key corridor are to come under the spotlight.

The next meeting of the West Dorset Western Area Transport Action Group (WATAG) will discuss how, since its May meeting, the new Dorset Council has been allocating councillors to various new roles. The group says it is pleased to learn that two Dorset councillors have been appointed to serve on WATAG and 'looks forward to meeting them in due course,' adding: 'They may be assured of a warm welcome.'

On rail services, WATAG says it is disappointed to learn the dispute over the role of guards on South Western Railway had flared up again, resulted in nearly a week of strikes.

A spokesman for the groups said: "We hope to hear what efforts are being made to resolve this issue. We also hope to hear more information about the ability to book rail tickets right through to Bridport and Lyme Regis (and vice versa) to include the train and bus via Dorchester/Weymouth and Axminster. Meanwhile, Great Western Railway is finally supplying much needed extra rolling stock on its line from Bristol to Weymouth and we hope to get an update from them."

The bus route corridor between Bridport and Yeovil, via Beaminster and Crewkerne, continues to be a major concern for the group. This was well aired its meeting in May. The Service 6 is jointly operated by First Wessex and Buses of Somerset and is partly subsidised by Dorset Council.

A WATAG spokesman said: "We continue to press for a more customer friendly and useful service and this will feature at our meeting."

WATAG will discuss each of these issues at its next meeting at 6.30pm on Thursday, July 25, at the W.I. Hall on North Street, Bridport.

Dorset Community Transport has provided some lifeline services since the major cutbacks in 2016 and 2017, so the group hopes to receive an update about this at this meeting, as well as about community initiatives by both Beaminster and Bridport Town Councils.

The spokesman added: "We hope to welcome representatives from local public transport providers, and councillors and particularly you - as public transport users. There will also be a 'democratic moment' when anyone can raise questions about local bus and rail services."


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