Wiltshire Council looking to bring in new bus provider following route change
An alternative provider will run the Warminster to Salisbury route
Wiltshire Council is in the process of ensuring an alternative bus company will provide a service between Warminster and Salisbury in response to the current provider making changes to its route.
The current provider, First West of England, has advised Wiltshire Council that because this element of the route is financially unsustainable to the company, it will be altering its commercially provided D1 bus service from 30 January 2022, which means First will no longer run the service between Warminster and Salisbury.
Wiltshire Council is currently arranging for a different bus company to provide an alternative bus service between Warminster and Salisbury that can serve the villages along the A36 and provide a connection with the D1 buses at Warminster. The timetable for this new service should be available in mid-January and will continue to cater for the needs of the many students and commuters that use this service, as well as those travelling for other purposes.
First West of England will continue to run the D1 bus service linking Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon and Bath every hour on a similar timetable to that currently in operation, but the additional fast, peak-hour journeys numbered D1x that were introduced experimentally 18 months ago will no longer run from the 30 January 2022.
Further information around the timetable and alternative provider should be available within two weeks.
Cllr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
"We know this particular route is important to people and having no service will adversely impact their daily lives. Therefore, we're doing everything we can to get a new provider in quickly to fill that gap and ensure there is no disruption for people."
Looking ahead to the longer term, in November Wiltshire submitted its plan to the Government to improve bus services and increase usage throughout the county. This is part of the Government's National Bus Strategy for England that, in February 2020, confirmed £5bn of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside of London.
Through its Bus Service Improvement Plan, the council has outlined its ambition on how it will spend allocated funding. This includes providing more subsidised services, enhanced infrastructure, simplified ticketing and bus priority throughout the county, and offering an improved flexible demand responsive bus network in the Pewsey Vale area. The council's improvement plan can be found at Bus Service Improvement Plan webpage.