Ottery residents are being urged to ‘use or lose’ a local bus service that has already been cut back by Devon County Council.

The 381 bus, operated by Dartline and funded by the county council, used to run on Mondays and Thursdays, connecting Taleford with the town centre and hospital.

But the Monday service has just been scrapped because of a fall in passenger numbers, and there are fears that the Thursday service will also be discontinued.

The town council, and the county councillor for Otter Valley Jess Bailey, have criticised the decision to withdraw the Monday service, and the fact that there was no public consultation about it.

They expect the loss of the Monday buses to increase demand for the community transport run by the Ottery Help Scheme, which is already operating at full capacity, providing more than 100 journeys every week for medical appointments and essential errands. Losing the Thursday bus would make matters even worse.

A spokesperson for Ottery Town Council said: “The key to saving this vital transport link lies in community support. With only two or three passengers per trip on Mondays, that service's sustainability was put into question.

“Residents are encouraged to consider using the Thursday service more regularly to demonstrate ongoing demand. The town council and Cllr Bailey feel that preserving this vital link is about more than just numbers—it's about supporting community cohesion, accessibility, and ensuring everyone's right to mobility.

“The fate of Ottery St Mary's Thursday bus service depends on community action. It's time to show that this service is not just a convenience but a lifeline that must be protected for the well-being and prosperity of all residents. Use it or risk losing it.”