TAUNTON'S park and ride bus service has new operators from today (Monday, February 12).

Stagecoach has taken over running buses from the Gateway site off the A358 near Ruishton and the Silk Mills site on the other side of town.

The service is running every 20 minutes rather than the previous 15 minutes and is operating using double decker buses.

Stagecoach, which won the contract from Somerset Council after previous operator First Bus South pulled out, is running buses between 6am and 8pm Mondays to Fridays, with a slightly later start on Saturdays.

READ MORE: Council announces new park and ride operator.

First Bus South, which won a five-year contract to operate the service from July 2021, informed the council last year that it wished to withdraw as it felt it was "no longer viable", despite rising passenger numbers.

The council has said it will work with Musgrove Park Hospital to improve the service to better suit the needs of staff working there.

Somerset Council announced before Christmas that it had landed a new operator but declined to publicly name the replacement contractor until early in January due to "commercial sensitivity".