Local people are being left stranded at bus stops between Minehead and Taunton on Mondays and Fridays because of huge numbers of week-end guests travelling to and from Butlin’s.
Local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says he is now receiving complaints from local families whose travel arrangements have been disrupted because their chosen buses have arrived already full to capacity
And he is demanding First Group lays on extra vehicles to cope with the twice-weekly surge in demand.
Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative member for Bridgwater and West Somerset, says it is totally unacceptable that dozens of local people should be inconvenienced by the inadequacy of the service.
“On one recent Monday morning service the bus was full with the aisle completed occupied by standing passengers by the time it left Williton,” he said.
“There were other people waiting at stops all the way to Taunton but they were simply left standing there. In most cases the driver didn’t even pull up to explain the bus was full.
“These people may have been trying to get to college or anticipating catching a train. It’s totally unacceptable for them to be left by the side of the road just because First Group doesn’t provide enough buses.”
Thousands of guests now descend on Butlin’s on most winter week-ends and, said Mr Liddell-Grainger: “It’s not going to take a genius to work out how to get them to and from their destination without inconveniencing local people – not that it’s just the locals who are affected because quite often the bus to Minehead arrives at Taunton station already nearly full and people heading for Butlin’s are left waiting in far-from-comfortable conditions for the following bus to arrive.
“All this takes is a few phone calls and some coordination. Butlin’s will always know how many guests it has arriving and leaving and First Group simply needs to organise itself and ensure there are enough buses to cope with the demand.
“I should have thought any transport operator would be glad of the business.”