Many passengers will have only been too happy to let the tired worn out old First buses (even after their smart repaints) to wait for the nice new buses operated by Webbers. However, many industry observers and enthusiasts have been watching and wondering just how Webberbus has been making any money. Well it turns out they weren't.
Somerset County Council:
Please be aware that we have been informed that one of the main bus companies in Somerset has ceased to operate today (Thursday 12 May), affecting a number of services. We have responded immediately to this difficult situation and our staff are working hard to arrange for other operators to pick up these services where possible. We are confident that all services taking students to schools and colleges will be covered by replacement services from tomorrow morning. There should also be cover for the public routes where there are no other reasonable alternatives. On routes already covered by other operators, they will be doing their best to fill the gaps.
Below is a list of the affected Webberbus services, and replacements where they have been arranged. We will keep this page updated as replacement services are added or changed. We apologise for the disruption that this has caused.
Public Service Routes
- 10 Minehead – Porlock First are providing a replacement service.
- 12/15 Wellington – Taunton – Bridgwater Use First services 21/21A/22/22A, extra capacity will be provided where necessary
- 16/24 Minehead – Bridgwater Please see First service 15 for Minehead/Carhampton/Williton/Watchet/Nether Stowey to Bridgwater College First service 14 and X14 operates between Bridgwater and Cannington
- 18 Minehead – Taunton Use First service 28, extra capacity will be provided where necessary
- 19 Bridgwater – Street First will replace journeys previously operated by WebberBus
- 26 Wells – Weston-super-Mare Use First service 126, additional capacity will be provided for Easton to Wells Blue School journeys
- 27 Creech – Taunton Use First service 29
- 34 Yeovil – Bridgwater Hatch Green service 16 is available
- 37 / 375 Bridgwater – Street – Wells First will reinstate service 37/375 and provide additional capacity where necessary
- 38 Taunton – Street – Wells Use First service 55
- 62/66 Weston/Axbridge – Bridgwater College Crosville Motor Services will provide these services
- 67 Wells – Burnham-on-Sea First will provide replacement service
- 75 Weston – Burnham – Bridgwater Use First routes 20/21/21A, additional capacity provided where necessary
- 76 Weston – Burnham Use First service 20
- 101 Minehead Town Service First will provide this service
- 623 Wellington – Bridgwater College First will provide replacement service
- Bridgwater Town Services First will provide replacement services
- Taunton Town Services Use existing First Taunton Town services
The number of services list above with alternative First Services already in place shows how many of the services affected were in direct competition with First, some running a few minutes in front of First buses on the same routes. This can also partly explain the whole mess!
Whilst not on the same scale as the efforts required after the collapse of Western Greyhound, this will mean a busy evening for many First staff making sure all the additional buses required are available first thing this morning. The company were quite rightly applauded for their handling of the WG collapse so there is every reason to be confident that things will work out just as well this time. In the long term it should also be a great help to the First business and maybe even allow some more investment in the fleet to take place.