Campaigners are hoping to fill the gap left by bus cuts by raising £5,000 - which could mean passengers travel without charge.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to ensure a bus service continues to run between Bridport and Weymouth on a Sunday, which was cut by First Wessex when the bus service brought out its winter timetable in September. This service was also cut last year.

However, Alan Williams, a member of the Western Area Transport Action Group (WATAG), has commissioned an X53 service to run three times a day on Sundays, but this will end on December 22.

Campaigners want to see the service retained until April, when it’s anticipated First Wessex will launch its spring/summer timetable and the Sunday service will return.

The crowdfunder was set up by Bridport resident Billy Shearer after it was discussed at a WATAG meeting.

He said: “If everyone in Bridport donated £1, that would fund this winter and next winter for Sunday buses to Weymouth.

“It doesn’t have to be a huge outlay, just giving a little. If that does happen, the crowdfunder is covering the cost of the bus service this time, it is not there to make a profit, it is just to keep the service going, because as soon as it stops you introduce doubt into people’s minds.”

They are hoping to raise the money by December 11 in order for the service to continue from January.

If the crowdfunder is successful, the bus will run on a Sunday at the same times it does now. It leaves Weymouth King’s Statue at 8.55am, 11.55am and 2.55pm, travelling along the coast road through Portesham, Abbotsbury, Burton Bradstock and West Bay to Bridport, where it will depart from the coach station at 10.25am, 1.25pm and 4.25pm.

To donate, visit, where there is also information on why the bus is important and other services.

Mr Williams reported that the service so far has ‘done quite well’ with an average of 135 passengers in the first month on each day and it has taken up to £300.

He said: “What’s interesting is people in Chickerell and Weymouth are using to do their shopping and come back again. We stopped at virtually every bus stop last I was on it.

“There are certainly holidaymakers around using it for walking.”

WATAG have also managed to encourage First Wessex to open up their early morning school service from Weymouth to other passengers, which means the first bus along the coast road gets into Bridport’s South Street before 9am, rather than 10am. The group has also published a timetable detailing the school services that passengers can use.

Mr Williams added: “A lot of villages that don’t have another service can actually use it. People can use it, but they probably don’t know that they can.

“We pointed out that they [First Wessex] stopped running buses into Bridport before 10am but there were commuters coming in from Weymouth into Bridport and there was the C1 service for the school and they eventually ran it up South Street.”

WATAG’s winter timetables for buses to and from Bridport and school services are now available at Bridport TIC.

The next meeting of WATAG will take place on Thursday, November 28 at Bridport WI Hall, North Street, from 6.30pm. For more information, visit