First Bus has announced it will cut and reduce services in North Somerset from next month.

In a notification made today (September 1), the X2 and 126 Mendip Xplorer will be axed from October 9, and a further eight routes will also see timetable reductions.

It was widely expected bus operator First West of England would axe three 'vital' routes in the autumn, these were: X2 (Yatton to Bristol), X5 (Weston to Bristol, serving Clevedon and Portishead), and the 126 Mendip Xplorer (Weston to Wells, serving Locking, Banwell, Sandford and Winscombe).

The proposals led to fierce backlash from local groups and political leaders which forced the bus company to reverse its planned axe to the X5 route last month.

However, the X5 will now no longer serve Bristol, and will instead operate from Weston to Portishead via Clevedon.

Fury erupted in early August after First Bus announced its proposals, this sparked some North Somerset councillors to say it will 'devastate communities'.

The Labour and Liberal Democrat groups individually set-up petitions and surveys which saw more than 4,000 people sign to 'save the 126'.

Labour councillor Ciarán Cronnelly, whose ward faced being 'totally shut off' if bus routes were to be cut, said he lobbied First managing director Doug Claringbold, and also urged to the secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps, to demand these services were saved.

North Somerset Council leader, Cllr Steve Bridger, also condemned allegations made by Weston MP John Penrose for his 'inaccurate' charge the cuts were the fault of council 'failures'.

Other routes will also see further changes from October.

Service 7 will now serve Weston General Hospital; Service X5 Portishead section will cover Sainsbury's and The Triangle in a loop; Services 3, 7, 51, X1, X6 and X7 will have minor timetable changes; and services 1 and 20 will have normal winter changes, with reduced frequencies and no Sunday service.

Managing director of First West of England, Doug Claringbold, said: "We recognise the impact these changes will have on some of our communities and we are truly sorry for those who will be affected.

"Along with the significant driver shortages, this means we simply have no choice but to withdraw or reduce those services and ensure we focus on running buses where there are enough customers travelling."