News Archive

This page is an archive of the website news posted by WATAG going back to 2013. There’s plenty to interest the transport campaigner on this page!

Combined 40/ 6 timetable between Christmas and New Year (pdf)


Bus Service First 6 and DCC 40 between Bridport, Beaminster and Yeovil, between Christmas and New Year

WATAG (the West Dorset Western Area Transport Action Group) are pleased to announce that they have been able to secure a service on Route 6 between Beaminster – Bridport – Bridport Hospital on Wednesday 27 December, Thursday 28 December and Friday 29 December.  The service will run to the attached timetable which shows the complete service (including Dorset County Council service 40).

Please note that there are some changes from the usual timetable and that the 6 will not operate north of Beaminster. On some journeys, Yeovil can be accessed from Bridport by changing at Beaminster; both operators will try to ensure that connections are maintained (between the 6 and 40) at Beaminster Square.

When WATAG became aware that First Wessex intended to run a Saturday only service on 27-29 December, meaning no service on the 6 route, WATAG asked First to reconsider. They refused to do so even after we pointed out that DCC were operating their normal service 40. First were then asked if they would run the service if their costs were covered, and what those costs would be. They were willing to work on this basis and with the figures, WATAG was successful in obtaining funding from a local individual.

Philip Sankey, Chairman of WATAG, said:  “We have responded to the voices of the local community by working to get this service in place.  Now it is there, it is important that it is used.  If we can achieve good numbers on the service, it will strengthen the case for a sensible and long term solution for this important and strategic inter-urban route, including the reinstatement of a Saturday service”

Minutes of meeting 100 held 23rd NOV17 (pdf)

The first General Meeting in 2018 (no. 101) and WATAG’s Annual General Meeting

are scheduled for Thursday 25th January

Minutes of Meeting 99 held 28th September 2017 (pdf)

Minutes of Meeting 98 held 27th JULY17 (pdf)

Agenda for WATAG GM 98 (pdf to download)

Minutes of meeting 97 held on 25th May 2017 (pdf)

Minutes of meeting 96 held 23rd March (pdf)

20th March 2017

Agenda for EGM March 2017
23rd March 2017 at 6.30pm
WI Hall South St Bridport
1 Apologies for absence
2 Proposal to agree a revision to the 2005 version of the Constitution as circulated (available for download here)

WATAG Agenda GM 96

11th Feb

Minutes of meeting 95 held 26th January 2017


minutes of the AGM held 26th january 2017


Planned General Meetings dates for the remainder of the year: Thursdays 23rd March, 25th May, 27th July, 28th September and 23rd November 2017


Notice is hereby given that the March Meeting of WATAG (no. 96) is to be an “Extraordinary General Meeting” in order for members (deemed as all those present) to vote on the proposed revised Constitution.” In practice this is to update the Constitution agreed in 2005, although any suggested changes submitted to the Secretary in writing 30 days before that meeting on 23rd March will be considered. The definition of membership is one of the items for consideration, as there is currently no fee or formal membership list as required. The current Constitution will be available on and there will be copies available at the January meeting

21st December 2016

94-nov16 minutes of last meeting (pdf)

19 Dec 2016 Dorset

First Dorset to make improvements on 10 and X51 services

From Sunday 15 January 2017, First Dorset will introduce changes to the 10 and X51 services.

There will be amended running times on the 10 service. In the Dorchester area the bus stop on Acland Road is being removed and a new one is being introduced on Brewery Square for southbound trips only.

On the Monday to Friday timetable for the X51 service, First Dorset is introducing a new service from Dorchester at 2010 which arrives in Bridport at 2047. Also on the weekday timetable, the 1811 service from Dorchester to Bridport will operate five minutes later.

15th October 2016

New WATAG timetable:

bus-time-table-5-fold-sept-16 (pdf)

Or you can link to info from First.

15th October 2016

The minutes of the WATAG meeting held on 22nd September 2016 are here: Minutes Meeting 93 held 22 September 2016 (pdf) for download.

10th September 2016

It may still feel like summer but First Wessex have announced that their winter timetable begins on 9th October. More details here:

9th August 2016

Bus Users Consultation Response (pdf)

9th August 2016

Draft Dorset Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (pdf)

18th July

Results of the Rural Bus Services consultation by Dorset County Council: half of respondents would not use community transport intiatives. Rural isolation, and difficulty accessing shops and social activites were the most numerous respones to proposals to cut services.

Rural Bus Services Review Consultation from Jan 2016 (pdf)

3rd July 2016

There is a new Community_Transport_directory  (pdf, 2.7MB) out for 2016/7. You can also download it from the dorsetforyou webpages

2nd July

Dorset County Council is consulting on reducing the public transport subsidy by £1m  and school transport services by £850,000 for implementation in summer 2017.  Consultation ends 22nd July 2016.

May 2016

Dorset County Council is seeking people’s views on proposals for the future of subsidised bus services in Dorset.

Information on the new Bus Bill:

Overview of the new Bus Bill:

14th March

Minutes of the County Council Cabinet (pdf) on Wednesday, 24 February 2016, including the rural bus services review.

12th February

Bus Users UK is an umbrella organisation for local groups of bus users. They have produced a final consultation report (pdf download) on Dorset CC’s consultation on further cuts to subsidised services.

Here is the summary and concerns over the consultation:


Concerns 1

Concerns 2

Concerns 3

Concerns 4

Concerns 5

WATAG’s submission to Dorset County Council in connection with the consultation on proposed funding cuts to subsidised bus services.

5th February

Download the Local Transport Plan 2011 – 2026: Passenger Transport Strategy produced by the County Council

More info here:

5th February

Download the report “Buses in Crisis: A report on bus funding across England and Wales 2010 – 2016″ produced by the Campaign for Better Transport

Buses in Crisis

BBC report from 4th February “Council cuts ‘threat’ to rural bus services

BBC report from 12th January: “Bus services facing ‘crisis’ says Campaign for Better Transport

WATAG is now a member of

8th December

buses-in-crisis-2015 report from the Campaign for Better Transport

9th November
Cut roads not buses

Ahead of the Government’s spending review, the Department for Transport has provisionally agreed to cut its spending by a massive 30%. Tell the Chancellor to protect funding for everyday transport, especially the Bus Service Operators Grant.

Please sign this petition from the Campaign for Better Transport:

14th August

Hospital Transport

Here is some documentation on hospital transport:

A leaflet on Patient Transport services – about using NHS transport to get to a hospital appointment

For anyone interested in understanding how decisions are made:

7th June 2015

Here are the minutes from the 28th May meeting.

Minutes 28th May 2015 (pdf)

And here is the Speed version of the minutes produced by artist Petra Hughes – useful for a quick preview or reminder of what was talked about.

Petra's Speed Minutes

Petra’s Speed Minutes

25th May

WATAG are pleased to announce that their PUBLIC MEETING on Thursday 28th May 2015 at Bridport WI Hall North Street Bridport will be attended by the Head of Business Projects for South West Trains, Chris Loder who will provide details of their plans in the short/ medium term. Several new routes may be opened up to allow improved access to the National Rail Network from stations in West Dorset.

10th May

Some documents supplied by the Bus Action Group. Thanks go to them for their hard work.

DCC minutes from meeting 12/02/2015 see Pages 16 – 21  References to quality contracts, holistic reviews and DCC leader speech.

Minutes 12 February 2015 230415

Corporate plan  Corporate Plan 2015-18 080415

Future of the threatened with the axe – number 40 bus peak time from Bridport to Yeovil put off from 08/04/2015 to until 13/05/2015 after the district and parliamentary elections. see attached cabinet forward plan.


Local Transport Plan jointly commissioned by DCC with Bournemouth and Poole – in which DCC have committed themselves to reducing dependence on the car in rural West Dorset e.g. 2.4.1.


Another DCC Audit and Scrutiny committee report dated 19/03/2015 reviewing DCC’s community transport policy.

Audit and scrutiny committee 19-03-2015 – 07 Review of Community Transport

Bus Users Manifesto (pdf)

Bus User Demands (pdf)

15th January

Dorset County Council Agenda Item on Motion to Council in respect of Public Bus Services – pdf download.

19 November

Weekday exceptions for Dorset residents from the DCC Concessionary Fare Scheme

From 28 October 2014, certain weekday exceptions to certain First Dorset services are being made for concession fares pass holders before 09.30.

Eligible services Mondays to Fridays are:

X31 Axminster to Dorset.
08.06 from Bridport and applies to Bridport through to Martinstown Post Office and Winterbourne Steepleton through to Martinstown Post Office for customers travelling to Dorchester.

X53 Lyme Regis to Weymouth
09.09 from Lyme Regis and applies all the way to Weymouth

X53 Weymouth to Poole
08.24 from Weymouth to Wool through to Wareham Police Station.

X53 Lyme Regis to Poole
06.39 from Lyme Regis to Poole for stops east of Weymouth.

X53 Weymouth to Exeter
09.25 to Weymouth

X53 Bridport to Eexter
08.30 from Bridport to Lyme Regis

19 November

Consultation from DoT on guidelines for bus companies on conduct of drivers with respect to people with disabilities, people who use guide or hearing dogs etc. This is an attempt to cut down on “red tape”.

27 July

Damory to run peak-time service on number 40 bus route between Bridport and Yeovil. (links to Bridport News article)

27 July

New timetable for number 40 bus, starting 28th july (pdf) between Bridport and Yeovil:

40 Yeovil – Bridport 28 07 14

31 March

New website address for TravelWatch South West:

TravelWatch SouthWest (TWSW) is a social enterprise company which acts as an advocate for passengers to lobby for the improvement of public transport in the region and works closely with local authorities, business organisations, partnerships and other stakeholder groups. With the dissolution of the former Rail Passengers Committee for Western England in July 2005, TWSW is the representative body for public transport users throughout the South West of England.

18 February

Click here for the proposed 47 timetable “As submitted to the Traffic Commissioners for registration”

6 February
Petition launched to save the 47 bus service from Bridport to Yeovil, a crucial service for students and workers.

Sign the petition

The petition reads:

We the undersigned request Dorset and Somerset County Councils and Yeovil College to recognise the importance of the number 47 bus link between Bridport and Yeovil to students and to workers in our local economy and to commit to continuing to subsidize this important strategic route beyond April 2014 should a viable commercial alternative not be commissioned.

The current timetable will be replaced 05/04/2014, by a temporary timetable until 27/06/2014 which axes the peak time (commuter services), Monday to Friday during the college holidays. Then from 28/06/2014 the service as a whole is threatened with the axe.

26 January

First Buses have a scheme called “First Safe Journey Card” which enables you to give private information to the driver. For more information see the link (on the right menu) called “Safe Journey Cards or you can click on the images below for pdf files which you can then print out to use on the bus:

Journey Card Safe Journey Card

December 2013


Click here for the recommendations (pdf)