A PUBLIC transport campaigner has called out councillors after they did not take up her challenge to use public transport for a week.

Melissa Whittaker-Mather, co-lead of the campaign group Everybody Get On Board, said she was particularly surprised to see one county councillor even use the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ – despite them not following their own advice.

Mrs Whittaker-Mather contacted all Somerset county councillors with the challenge.

She received a response from only four, and just one of them agreed to take on EGOB’s campaign – Chard North’s Cllr Amanda Broom, who has since described public transport as ‘life limiting’.

The EGOB co-lead said: “It strikes me that sitting on their hands is more comfortable than sitting on a bus, train or a bicycle for that matter.

“Claiming ‘use it or lose it’ when they themselves refused to do just that is not only hypocritical, but shows a complete inability to attempt to understand the complexities members of the public experience day to day.

“It strikes me that the concept of sitting on a bus or train, and potentially engaging with public tranport users, may perhaps be all too difficult and inconvenient and they should be thoroughly ashamed of their inability to do just that.”

After completing two weeks of trying to only use public transport, Cllr Broom said: “If I was reliant on public transport I would not be able to be a district or county councillor, as I would not be able to attend the required meetings.

“This is a terrible indictment on the councils that we are precluding many people due to the transport network which we in part are responsible for.

“If I did not live and run a business in the same town, my life would also be limited by public transport network.”