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AXMINSTER: Better bus services to meet train connection
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Tourists and locals are set to benefit from more reliable bus travel between Axminster and Bridport and beyond, it has been claimed. But buses will only go as far as Dorchester and the last buses in and out of Axminster are an hour earlier than was the case with the previous timetable. Bus operator First has introduced a new timetable, the main difference being much improved Sunday services. It is also hoped the changes will make life easier for passengers using the bus to connect with trains at Axminster (and Dorchester). Under the previous timetable, particularly during summer, delays were frequent and made the bus an unreliable option for connecting train passengers. The new timetable came into effect on Sunday May 25th and is valid up to and including Saturday September 27th. Service 31 has been renamed X31 and is based on a Monday to Sunday timetable as opposed to the previous concept of a Monday to Saturday one plus a separate Sunday timetable. The major difference is the fact that Sunday services will, in effect, become hourly and earlier. For example, the first Sunday bus out of Axminster will leave at 9.15am, which is almost two hours earlier than under the previous timetable. First Dorset general manager Simon Newport said: “The change does mean the X31 timetable will be more reliable so that it can always meet trains at Dorchester South and Axminster stations. “It has also been linked with Service X53 so that buses will be provided every half an hour from Bridport to Lyme Regis, making it the best ever level of service along this section of the coast. “This meets the increasing demands for travel from local customers and tourists alike.” About severing Weymouth from the route, he said: “The change to Service X31 has been made in order to maintain its viability following the withdrawal of financial support from Dorset County Council three years ago. “We did make great efforts to increase the number of people travelling and improve the fares, but unfortunately, the section between Weymouth and Dorchester has not been used sufficiently to enable us to continue running this part of the service. “Customers can however use Service 10 between Weymouth and Dorchester, which runs every quarter of an hour during the day and hourly in the evening, with buses every half an hour on Sundays.” Timetables are displayed at selected stops and available at www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/dorset/, www.twitter.co.uk/dorset or www.facebook.com/FirstinDorset
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