CHARD bus users will be able to access services in Taunton until later with the launch of new nighttime services from Monday, January 23.

The last number 30 bus will run from Boden Street, Chard, at 9.11pm and get into Market House, Taunton, at 10.03pm. 

Passengers will be able to leave Taunton at 10.10pm and arrive back at Chard's Guildhall at 11.04pm when the new services are up and running.

Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for transport and digital, has announced that five bus routes in the county will have a night service.

The last bus services leaving the towns and villages covered by the scheme will run between 10pm and 11.15pm.

The bus routes that will have a night service are: 

  • 1: Taunton to Priorswood/Musgrove Park/Silk Mills Park and Ride
  • 21: Bridgwater to Taunton (Bridgwater Bus Station to Musgrove Park)
  • 22: Wellington to Taunton
  • 28: Minehead to Taunton (including Cotford St Luke and Norton Fitzwarren)
  • 30: Chard to Taunton

Cllr Rigby said: “I am really pleased to be able to share some very exciting news about the roll-out of a night bus service across parts of Somerset.

“One of the key elements of the plan is that night buses will serve Musgrove Park Hospital.

“Since before I took on the role as executive lead on transport, I’ve heard from staff at Musgrove, dismayed that the Silk Mills Park & Ride closes too early for them to be able to use it, even just for parking.

“The new timetable fixes that, with the last bus into Taunton at 10.57pm and the last bus back to Silk Mills P&R at 10.40pm.

“In addition, we have agreed that the night buses on the 28 service will divert from their usual route in order to serve Norton Fitzwarren and Cotford St Luke, both being substantial villages.

“Somerset Bus Partnership has handily posted all the timetables for these new services together on its website.

“And remember, the new £1 and £2 fares apply on these new night-time services too.”

Read more: Council unveil new plans for evening bus services in Somerset

Read more: £1 single fare bus tickets in Taunton for next two years

In November, the council launched £1 bus fares in Taunton to encourage more people onto buses under its Bus It campaign. 

Bus users can also travel on most routes across the county for £2 until March 31 under an initiative announced last month. 

The fare cut will help passengers save money as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, fuelled in part by high petrol and diesel prices.

Cllr Connor Payne, who represents Chard South and is the opposition spokesperson for the environment and climate change on the county council, has described the introduction of a night service between Chard and Taunton as “great news”.

He tweeted: “If you live in Chard, from the January 23, 2023, you can access healthcare, education and shops (and nightclubs) right up until 11pm.

“It is super important to note that the more people who use this service, the more likely it is to stick around!”