THREE rural bus stops will be left without their main service for the next month after roadworks started on the A358.

A major engineering scheme to upgrade drainage on the A358 between Chard and Tatworth started on Monday.

The section of Two Ash Hill near Two Ash Lane has been subject to issues with localised flooding in the past, said a spokesman for Somerset County Council.

He added: “This scheme will replace the drainage system along a 330-metre stretch of road, including new chambers, covers and gullies.”

First Bus said the diversion was expected to affect their number 30 service for 26 days including weekends.

During this time, there will be no service to Halcombe, Tatworth Church or Perry Street Club.

Last week, members of the public complained about the reduced service, including Chard town councillor Melissa Whittaker-Mather.

However, she said that another operator was stepping in to help fill the void.

“A local commercial operator, Rooster Bus, will be putting on a free service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the road closure” said Cllr Whittaker-Mather.

“It will pick up from Tatworth Church at 9am, Perry Street Club at 9.05am, reaching Chard Guildhall at 9.20am with a return journey scheduled in for 2pm.

“This bus can accommodate 15 passengers and doesn’t have disabled facilities.

“If demand is high enough, a free evening service may be considered.

“This should help alleviate some of the difficulties for the residents of Tatworth and I am personally very grateful for the Rooster bus intervening, and supporting both Tatworth and Chard.”