Bus timetable improvements between Bridport, Beaminster, Crewkerne and Yeovil are unlikely – at least in the near future.

That was the response from Dorset Council to concerns about the lack of a ‘joined-up’ service in the area which can result in people waiting hours for a connection, not being able to make some trips at all, and spending more time making polluting car trips. Some Colfox pupils are also missing lessons to catch a service bus on time.

Carolyn Emmett from Beaminster said her car use had shot up after timetable changes which meant a local bus no longer passed by Colfox School at the end of the pupil’s day and other changes to the link between Bridport and Yeovil which made it less convenient.

She said that the service had been stopped by the former Dorset County Council, with a week’s notice, affecting about 30 pupils in total.

Councillors heard that she and others parents whose children attended Colfox were now forced into their cars more than they used to because of the lack of a decent public transport service in the area: “An efficient public transport system is a good way of reducing carbon emissions; as well as supporting our younger, older and more vulnerable residents and others who can’t drive,” she told a meeting of Dorset Council in Dorchester last night.

She asked the council to do what it could, in negotiating with First, to tweak the timetable in time for the start of the next school year in September.

Cabinet brief holder Cllr Ray Bryan said that while a working group had been agreed to look at bus subsidy and the viability of routes it had yet to meet: “Until the group has been set up and the review completed, further changes to this service (No6) are unlikely to be made. I understand the frustrations caused by the lack of a journey from Colfox School back to Beaminster, Bridport and Crewkerne at the end of the school day but these communities are not in the catchment area for the school and students are attending by choice, so there is no requirement for the council to supply transport.”