PASSENGERS plagued by late buses and diversions hope the operator’s pledge of a ‘turning point’ materialises.

Buses of Somerset bosses are confident of improvements following months of disruption caused by floods on the Levels and major roadworks in Taunton.

They are launching launched a raft of improved services on several routes as Wessex Water’s work renewing worn out mains, which has bought the county town to a virtual standstill at times, nears its end.

Alex Carter, Buses of Somerset managing director, said July should be a turning point for the company and customers.

He added: “Our services have been severely disrupted for around seven months continuously as a result first of the devastating flooding, and then the Taunton water works.

“The disruption this has caused has clearly reduced the number of customers who’ve been travelling around, and has disrupted the plans and travel arrangements of those who’ve been travelling.

“As a key local business in Somerset, we’re committed to playing our part in getting Somerset moving following such a long period of disruption.

“Somerset buses need to continue spreading the message that the county is very much open for business and to make extra efforts to stimulate the local economy.

“We’re investing heavily in providing new and better services with improvements being made to four of our key routes and the addition of a new route.”

Improvements from tomorrow (Sunday, July 27) include.

*The new Service 26 linking Taunton with Creech Heathfield.

*Route 21 (Taunton to Burnham) increased between Taunton and Bridgwater to every 15 minutes during Monday to Friday day times.

*Route X28 (Minehead Butlins to Taunton Railway Station) re-introduced for the school holidays on Mondays and Fridays until August 29, providing six journeys in each direction.

*Route 29 (Taunton to Wells) increased to every hour, Monday to Saturday, with a revised timetable.

*Route 54 (Taunton to Yeovil) extended to serve Musgrove Park Hospital. Services increased to every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday between Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton and Somerton - this section of the route has also gained an hourly Sunday service.

Timetable booklets are available from the Taunton Bus Station Travel Shop or click on the First Group timetables link on this story.