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All change for local bus services?

MELKSHAM’S bus routes could look very different in January 2018, with Wiltshire Council appealing for tenders to run the service.

The number 14 and 15 bus routes that serve the local area are currently run by Frome Minibuses, but it is unknown if the company will retender, as their contract is due to come to an end. Wiltshire Council is asking for bids for either the existing service to remain or a scaled down version of the current timetable.

However, local group Option 24/7 have been invited by Wiltshire Council to make suggestions for a third option, that would see potential improvements being made to the current service. Representing Option 24/7, Graham Ellis explained, “These proposals are within current resources and take care of existing users, but make use of new opportunities to encourage additional users.

“TransWilts, one of the organisations in the community that has helped improve train use to and from Melksham, is supporting the initiative. Learning from previous public transport success, the new proposals are designed to tempt the bus operators and Wiltshire Council to choose the updated public transport network and timetables.”

The proposed suggestions by Option 24/7 and TransWilts include an hourly service from the train station and town centre to Berryfield, Bowerhill industry, Snowberry Lane and East Melksham, plus a day ticket priced at £2.50 that would be accepted on all buses in the area with also weekly, monthly and annual options.

Wiltshire Council is aiming to make a decision in August about what the bus service will look like and who will be awarded the new contract.

To read the proposal made by Option 24/7 in full please visit http:// mbug.uk If you would like to discuss this or make any suggestions for improvements please call TransWilts on 0845 459 0153 or email info@mbug.uk