Country pub offers free bus rides to help tackle drink driving

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Bus to go: White Hart co-owner Mike Yeatman is backing Avon & Somerset's annual road safety campaign
Bus to go: White Hart co-owner Mike Yeatman is backing Avon & Somerset's annual road safety campaign
A country pub is backing its local police's annual Christmas and new year drink drive crackdown by offering partygoers a free bus ride home during the festivities.

The White Hart in Weston-in-Gordano, Somerset is inviting diners to leave their car at home and get a free lift in the pub bus instead.

Co-owner of the pub Mike Yeatman, who runs the pub with his wife Chris, said: “We are keen to back the Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s annual Christmas and new year drink and drug driving road safety campaign.

“We are laying on a complimentary minibus for customers who pre-book and come in groups to ensure they get home safely after spending time here at the pub or in our restaurant.

“The service offers local lifts back to central Portishead and Clevedon. The bus is also running on a loop between the pub and our tapas bar and restaurant Venga in High Street, Portishead for our Christmas markets on Thursday evenings in December."

'Supporting local' 

He added: “The last one is on 21 December and the service runs from 4pm, with the last bus back to Portishead at 9pm so people can pop over for a mulled wine, sangria, Champagne or cider as well as doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and supporting local makers and producers.

“There will be a whole host of stallholders selling a range of festive goods and gifts.”

Mike and his wife Chris, along with their 30-strong team, hope that groups of partygoers will also make use of the bus when they book for the pub’s Christmas party menu.

Mike added: “We have roast breast of British turkey with all the trimmings on the menu, but we also do a potato-crusted parsnip and chestnut hotpot and seasonal vegetables, a four-hour slow-cooked blade of beef with horseradish mash and seasonal vegetables.

“Or, a salmon dish, or pan-fried fillet of seabass with chorizo and puy lentils.”

Refurbished pub

Chris and Mike took on the White Hart in 2015 and renovated it after it has been closed for two years.

Chris said: “It was once a good, village local. Sadly, for 10 years it suffered neglect. Gradually its custom ebbed away. In January 2013 it closed its doors and was empty for the next two years.

“We took the site on as a wreck in 2015 and have since invested significantly in the building and the business.

“We have created a destination or go-to food pub, serving the three towns we sit between as well as holiday travellers seeking refuge from M5 motorway queues.

“We are also ardent supporters of the local community and hopefully have helped rekindle some of that fondness people had for the pub.”

Related topics: Health & safety