Published date 4 April 2024

Get on board! Regional Mayor urges North East (NE) Somerset residents as WESTlocal buses launch

Mayor Norris with a WESTlocal driver

It’s good news for Chew Valley and Paulton residents as the first WESTlocal buses are driving into their area and will start serving locals next week (next Monday 8 April 2024). Mayor Dan Norris is urging residents to “get on board” to make the new services a success ahead of Monday's launch of the “WESTlocal: X91 Chew Valley Sprint” and "WESTlocal: 2V Two Valleys".

WESTlocal, from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, led by Mayor Norris, allows communities up and down the region to access cash to design and then run their very own, brand-new, not-for-profit bus and other public transport services. Starting on Monday, residents can start boarding the new WESTlocal buses run by Transpora (in Chew Valley) and Big Lemon (in Paulton).

The Paulton WESTlocal will link communities across the Somer Valley and Cam Valley running from Radstock to Odd Down Park and Ride via Westfield, Midsomer Norton, Paulton, Radford, Timsbury, Camerton and Tunley. The service will run 5 times a day (Mon-Fri).

The Chew Valley WESTlocal will provide a commuter service with one journey in each direction per day (Mon-Fri) between Bishop Sutton, Chew Stoke and Chew Magna and Hengrove Park, Bristol Temple Meads, near Bristol Bus Station, and the Centre.

Mayor Dan Norris said: “I hope these WESTlocals become a familiar and welcome sight for residents up and down NE Somerset.

“I’ve always said that local people know their areas best. That’s what WESTlocal is all about, and it's why I’m so pleased to be launching these vital new and innovative services for residents.

“I urge people to get on board the new WESTlocal: X91 Chew Valley Sprint and WESTlocal: 2V Two Valleys. Because people using these services will be the true measure of success, and will mean we can go even further in delivering the sustainable West of England bus network residents deserve, and frankly, need.”

To support the launch of the WESTlocal: X91 Chew Valley Sprint, a dedicated WESTlink - part of the region’s bookable minibus service - will be available in the morning and then again in the evening to connect locals in Compton Martin and Bishop Sutton via East & West Harptree to interchange with the X91, as part of a three-month trial. More information will be available on the TravelWest website in the coming days.

Chew Valley CIC Sustainable Transport Partnership led the successful bid to bring the WESTlocal: X91 Chew Valley Sprint to their area, and Paulton Parish Council the WESTlocal: 2V Two Valleys. More WESTlocals are set to be introduced over the next two years. Funds remain available and other community groups, schools, faith groups, town and parish councils are encouraged to apply by visiting https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/transport/westlocal/.

Funding for the scheme comes from the Bus Service Improvement Plan. The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority - in partnership with North Somerset - secured the second highest settlement per head nationwide from central government of this fund.

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