RESIDENTS in one Somerset town are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of bus services in the area.

In Ilminster, there is currently the First Bus 30 service (from Taunton to Axminster) and the shuttle bus services to surrounding villages.

But there is no direct route from Ilminster to Musgrove Park Hospital or Yeovil District Hospital, should residents need to attend an appointment.

If they want to travel to Yeovil, they will need to change buses (usually from the 30 service to the 54 service).

One resident from Ilminster has been asking both the district and county council to improve connectivity since the Nippy Bus service stopped in October 2017.

He is concerned about the multiple new housing developments planned for the town, and the new developments planned for Chard, which will increase the number of residents needing to use bus services in the area.

Somerset County Council (SCC) has said they are looking at adding an extra return journey to/from Ilminster on the 30 service, but have not yet done so, due to the pandemic.

“We have been looking to improve the 30 service by adding an extra return journey to/from from Ilminster to Taunton in the morning, after successfully accessing some government funding last year," said a spokesperson for SCC.

“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we have been unable to action this but are currently in discussions with the operator and hope to have this in place soon.

“We are currently asking residents in the County have a say on bus services as part of our Bus Service Improvement Plan.

"This will help us bid for a share of £3 billion funding from Government, available under its National Bus Strategy.”

The shuttle bus service, which began in 2019, serves villages including Ashill, Broadway, Horton, Shepton Beauchamp, Barrington, Puckington, Stocklinch, Whitelackington, and Ilton.

Cllr Linda Vijeh, who is the Conservative ward member for Neroche, played a big part in getting the shuttle bus service up and running.

"'I believe that effective, affordable, bus services are vital in ensuring that we have vibrant rural communities and that we are able to support the reduction of our carbon footprint," she said.

"This can only be done through a collaborative approach.

"Bus services need to operate where they are most needed, and at times that make them most attractive to potential users."

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has said the adopted Local Plan sets out a 'low carbon' travel policy, which aims to reduce single car occupancy.

A spokesperson for SSDC added: "A number of measures are required for new developments that will apply according to size and scale of schemes.

"These include incentivising sustainable travel, encouraging cycling and walking, and improving public transport connections through enhancements to either existing conventional bus routes or the provision of new services and associated infrastructure.

"Further evidence is being developed to ensure that the transport implications of future growth in our towns are fully considered in the Local Plan Review 2020-2040, and the opportunities for reducing the need to travel and increasing sustainable and active travel opportunities."

So while there might be an extra journey added to the First Bus 30 Service, Ilminster might have to wait a bit longer for any major improvements to bus services.

To have your say on bus services in Somerset, visit