Devastated at loss of route 54 bus service

I’m aware that HCT Group will announce today that it will cease operating its services in North Somerset from Saturday 3rd September. 

The services affected are:

53 (within Clevedon)
54 (Clevedon to Bristol Airport, serving Kenn, Yatton, Claverham and Cleeve)
55 (Hengrove Park in Bristol to Bristol Airport, serving Dundry and Barrow Gurney).

Having worked closely with council officers and Cllr Richard Westwood to reconnect Yatton and Claverham with Clevedon with the introduction of route 54 last year, I am personally completely devastated at this latest development, which means that the last 54 services will run on Friday.

The council is doing all it can to find solutions to mitigate the huge impact of this on residents, and at such short notice. We’re working with bus companies, the West of England Combined Authority and Bristol Airport to look at alternative options. However, so far we have had limited response due to wider market failure and driver shortages, so finding an operator willing and able to take on these routes is very difficult.

The last 54 services will run on Friday 2nd September.

A fortnight ago the council agreed an approach with First Bus to continue a reduced X5 service and we will continue to explore every possible option with operators to mitigate the impacts of the X2 and 126 which are due to be terminated in October due to a lack of driver resource.

The prospect of losing First’s X2 service next month, on top of the 54 – leaving Yatton and Claverham cut off from any bus services – is totally unacceptable.

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from a resident seeking clarification on the 54. She told me she would be telling her employer that she would no longer be able to get to work or fulfil one week’s notice.

This is my saddest day since I was elected to represent Yatton ward on North Somerset Council in 2019.

The situation is fluid and I will continue to keep residents updated with any news.

10 comments on “Devastated at loss of route 54 bus service

  1. It does seem a strange thing to do, considering the amount of fuss being made by local & national government about climate change. They want us to all use electric vehicles, which currently is beyond the reach of just about everyone. So the next best thing is for us to use public transport, but that is now being denied us.
    I was recently in Cornwall and discovered that I only needed my car to get there,( I could have used the train to get there but is a bit pricey) but when there I could travel all around Cornwall on buses. Pity that’s not possible along here.

  2. Norma Parfitt

    Proof, if proof were needed, that this government does not represent or care for ordinary people.

  3. Such awful news after all your efforts and especially for those that have come to rely on it. It’s unbelievable that developers keep pumping more people into the area with promises of infrastructure which is clearly so tenuous.

  4. Sarita Bennett

    I ride the 53 and whilst waiting for it the other day I got talking to an elderly lady from Yatton who was devastated about the loss of the 53/54 as she catches it into Clevedon then gets an X7 to Nailsea as a treat to look around different shops.
    I myself would love a regular bus that runs around Clevedon especially if it ran through the estates not straight down the ring road

  5. Shirley Harrison

    Thank you for all your efforts to get the 54 back up and running. The drivers on the service are always really helpful and I will miss being able to get to Clevedon from Yatton. Awful too that, from October, Yatton will be completely cut off with the loss of the X2. I do hope that something can be done to help those of us who need to use public transport as soon as possible

  6. Steve Carey

    Although, we only moved into Yatton North End in late December, after a 9 year period away from the area living in Devon and Cornwall, after 42 years in Clevedon. Now both my wife and I are retired, my Wife being Portishead born, we were delighted that we could get into and around Clevedon on the 54 and onto Portishead with another Bus. So both absolutely devastated when we heard the Service was ending. One could be forgiven for thinking, in our opinion, that is, so typical of North Somerset Council seem to have little regard for anywhere other than their beloved Weston-Super-Mare. Quite happy to spend millions on New Signage for W-S-M, But not bothered about Yatton, Claverham, Cleeve Or Clevedon. Seems lime no change since we left then.
    The Scareys

  7. Steve Carey

    Good Morning Councillor Bridger
    I did leave a comment a few days ago,, but just thought that as that was just a negative complaint about North Somerset, maybe it would be more constructive of me to ask if there is anything that we the public can do to help with getting some form of replacement service sorted. My wife and I are both Retired and were just starting to embark on the use of our Bus Passes rather than driving, so it were so pleased that we could simply get the 54 to the Triangle and then onward to Hill Road on the 53 Circular. So if there is anything constructive we can help with please let us know.
    Kind regards
    Steve Carey.

  8. My wife does not drive and has now lost her link to Clevedon and social groups. The X2 axing is the icing on the cake- to get to the X1 on the A370 – from the top of Mendip Road to the bus stop opposite Wrington Lane is 0.75 miles each way along a dangerous fast rat run with no pavement or lighting. Plus distance to wherever people live in Yatton. The other option is past The garden centre to the traffic lights- dangerous narrow ,uncompleted pavement with no lighting. I’ve done it in the dark and rain with speeding cars – suicide alley. Just try it First Bus directors and NSC Council who took their eye off the developing situation and have also never maintained this route as a safe walking route.
    The idea of at least 1 no X1 per hour diverting through Yatton is so simple- why not? Website for drivers going to Clevedon and can offer lifts?

    • Colin Rowland

      The idea of the X1 diverting from Congresbury, through Small way and Claverham Road, back on to the A370 at Cleeve once an hour would definitely be the answer, with no incurred costs of transport or manpower. The problem is that when this was suggested to First Bus a few years ago regarding the withdrawal of evening and Sunday services through the villages, some “gentleman ” from the company replied with, “what about the people waiting at the Star”. The problem is not the way to do it, it’s the will that’s not evident.

  9. Is the 54 bus getting stopped

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