SOMERSET Council has revealed a 'vital' bus service will cease operations due to a lack of subsidy amid the council's financial emergency.

The Service 1 bus which runs from Shepton Mallet to Castle Cary and Yeovil, came under threat last week as Shepton Mallet Town Council revealed the bus's operator, South West Coaches, informed Somerset Council they could no longer run the service due to a lack of funding.

As Somerset Council did not have any money to increase its subsidy to the operator, the two parties began negotiations to reduce costs through cuts to the bus service.

Peter Travis, co-chair of Somerset Bus Partnership, said the campaign group was 'very concerned' by the potential impact of the council's financial troubles.

The group hosted a meeting with the public and Somerset Council lead members to discuss the future of the Service 1 bus on Monday, January 8.

"We had some 50 people discussing the Service 1, also there was Somerset Council Executive Lead member Cllr Theo Butt, and also the Associate Lead for Transport Cllr Oliver Patrick, plus Peter Fairey (Operations Director) representing the bus operator, South West Coaches," Mr Travis said.

As of today (Wednesday, January 17), Somerset Council has confirmed the service is being withdrawn.

A spokesperson for Somerset Council said: "We can confirm that the operator is withdrawing the service and we are putting out a tender for a replacement service to commence from 15 April."