Hopes for life line bus link

AMBITIOUS plans to save a community bus service used by hundreds of pensioners, schoolchildren and disabled people has been launched in Suffolk.

The shock closure of the Sudbury Town Rural Transport (START) service, which has provided vital transport services for people and organisations in and around the town for nearly a decade, will go ahead this month due to a lack of funding.

But START manager John Phillips said he was not prepared to see the “lifeline” service axed and is now forming Go START to retain the service with backing from Sudbury Town Council.

Mr Phillips said: “Losing these services will have a devastating effect on many lives. The transport we offer provides a lifeline for so many people including isolated pensioners, schoolchildren and people with disabilities and this is why I am determined to save these services.”

The new organisation is hoping to recruit an army of volunteers to provide a range of community transport services.


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Mr Phillips is in talks with various funding bodies, but said the success of Go START would depend on support from the community.

“I’m hopeful I can obtain a certain level of funding, but to survive long-term we are going to need support from the entire community, we really need everyone to pull together and back us in any way they can,” he added.

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Go Start will provide a dial-a-ride service for those living in villages, transport for elderly people attending hospital and doctors’ appointments, transport for wheelchair users and a drop-off service for pupils attending schools.

Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said: “We know how important START is we will be supporting Go START in any way we can and we urge everybody else to do the same.”

Anyone who wants to support Go START should call John Phillips on 01787 310840 or 07718 736366 or Sue Brotherwood on 01787 372331.

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