‘Bus Back Better’ Strategy

The UK Government has just launched a new national bus strategy for England entitled Bus Back Better. The Government’s believes ‘buses are the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to improve transport”. This national Bus Strategy is backed by £3 billion of new funding and forms a key plank in the Government’s twin agenda of “Levelling Up” and “ensuring the economy meets Net Zero carbon emissions”

Said Tony Reese, Co-Chair of Somerset Bus Partnership, “This new national bus strategy and its extra funding gives us in Somerset the chance to deliver major improvements in the County’s bus services. Somerset now needs to seize this unique opportunity.”

The newly formed Somerset Bus Partnership is supported both by councillors and by bus user groups across Somerset and it will seek to work with local town and parish councils and with Somerset County Council to input into a Bus Enhancement Partnership for Somerset that incorporates both what current bus users need and take steps to facilitate more Somerset residents to switch from using private cars to travel by bus.
At 10 journeys per resident, Somerset currently has the fourth lowest bus passenger journeys per population in England. It is the lowest in the South West. Bus passenger journeys in Somerset have decreased by more than some 40% over the past decade.

Said Peter Travis, Co-Chair of Somerset Buys Partnership, “The new Bus Strategy provides the funding to reverse this decline in passenger numbers in Somerset and see Somerset playing its part in the Government’s levelling up and green agendas by launching a Bus Enhancement Initiative for Somerset. Somerset needs to commit to this initiative by June 2021.”

We will be following up by trying to raise awareness of the existence of this new strategy, and soliciting involvement of everyone in Somerset who is keen to see improvements, so that we can BUS BACK BETTER

The National Bus Strategy is online at


For further information:

Contact the regional co-chairs of Somerset Bus Partnership:

Peter Travis (Mendip)






Support for Somerset residents

Help is available for anyone in Somerset who may need additional support. The five councils in Somerset have been working together since the first lockdown to provide a single phone number for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support.


Residents are reminded they can call 0300 790 6275 if they need any help themselves or are concerned about relatives or neighbours. Lines are open seven days a week between 8am and 6pm.

NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP)

The Wiltshire Diabetes Prevention programme is a free service for people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Programme is a behaviour change programme where people learn about, diet, physical activity and strategies to improve their overall health, all aimed at reducing their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Normally, people access the programme through their GP however, due to the pandemic  and the subsequent pressure that our GP practices are facing, for a limited time a self-referral option has been enabled via the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk Score’ – a check list of questions that can determine a person’s risk factors – This has also enabled the programme to become more accessible to people within the area.

The risk tool can be accessed via the link below:


More information about the programme can be found at https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/somerset/

New Chat to Connect service for vulnerable adults in Somerset

CCS has launched a New Chat to Connect service for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable adults in Somerset.

If you are on the CEV list in Somerset and want to meet new people in a similar position as you, with shared interests there is help!.

Somerset Community Foundation: “We know it’s good to talk and share experiences. We can connect you with another person who is on the CEV list to keep your spirits up – you are not alone”.