Enthusiasts prepare buses for free New Year’s Day service

BY popular demand, a free heritage bus service will be running again from Wells Bus Station on New Year’s Day.

The normal First Bus 376 service will not be running on Monday, January 1. Instead, local enthusiasts and vehicle owners will run free bus services from Wells Bus Station to both Bristol and Street, and a couple of other routes including a circular tour of Wells.

These heritage buses are restored and preserved by enthusiasts for future generations to enjoy. Some date back to the 1940s and many have operated for both Bristol Omnibus Company and Badgerline.

The buses will operate hourly between Wells and Bristol, and half-hourly between Wells and Street. The day will also see the return of the popular City Circular service through Dulcote, previously operated during the May Day event, which will operate subject to demand.

Subject to vehicles being available, services will also be operated to Cheddar on the 126 route towards Wells.

The bus station area will be busy, so passengers are being reminded to keep to the usual ‘safe walkways’, and only board the buses at departure times. Arrangements have also been made for the bus station toilets to be open on the day.

A number of buses will be laying over between duties, and there will be a Badgerline Swift Link double-deck bus on site, acting as a control bus. This bus will also have a display upstairs explaining the history of Badgerline in its 35th year, and a sales outlet selling photos, models, books and other memorabilia on the lower deck.

The First depot will be closed, so people are welcome to view the fleet from the main road, but should not enter the property.

No fares are charged on the buses, but donations are welcome, to support further restoration. Due to their age, some buses are not fully accessible and may have steps.

People who require accessible access should request it at the Badgerline double-deck bus. It is pointed out that the accessible bus cannot enter Bristol.