New bus service could help residents in rural areas
- Credit: Suffolk County Council
A new taxi-bus service is to be launched which could help residents in some of Suffolk's more rural areas.
Katch is a new, on demand electric vehicle service, which is set to be launched by Suffolk County Council in April this year.
The service will travel from the train station at Campsea Ashe through stops in Wickham Market and on to Framlingham.
The scheme will serve fixed bus stops, initially booked 24 hours in advance by telephone.
Alexander Nicoll, deputy cabinet member for transport at Suffolk County Council and ward councillor for Wickham Market has been taking the lead on the project.
You may also want to watch:
"It is a really good project," said Mr Nicoll.
"It's simplicity itself."
- 1 Matchday Live: Town beaten 3-0 after Harrop's red card
- 2 Cyclist dies after collision with car in Bury St Edmunds
- 3 Ipswich Town closing in on appointment of new chief executive
- 4 Cafe owner 'very emotional' after mystery customer leaves £500 for staff
- 5 'Buzz' about town as pub prepares to reopen under new family management
- 6 Woman arrested on suspicion of drink-driving following A14 crash
- 7 Serious crash closes road in Bury St Edmunds near A14
- 8 'I am delighted to be joining. There is a lot of hard work that lies ahead' - Town's new CEO Ashton confirmed
- 9 'Our supporters are tired and bored of us' - Cook on 3-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon
- 10 Antiques Roadtrip star opens new Suffolk antiques shop
Two 16-seater, electric buses will be used for Katch; both have full disabled access.
Once the pilot starts the bus will be taking passengers seven days a week with a return ticket costing £7.
The pilot had been intended to start in January, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic it was deemed that the buses could be put to better use.
The buses are set to begin being used to transport people in rural parts of east Suffolk down to the Saxmundham Health Centre for coronavirus vaccinations from Monday.
"I am delighted that as we already had the buses on our books that we have been able to use them to help people particularly in our more isolated rural areas," said Mr Nicoll.
"I am pleased that we have been able to get something back for Katch before it takes up the role for which it is intended."
Mr Nicoll has long been trying to find a solution to the misnaming of Wickham Market railway station, which often leaves travellers stuck in Campsea Ashe not realising they are several miles away from their desired destination.
"Hopefully Katch can help rather than rely on the good neighbours of the people in Campsea Ashe ferrying people through to Wickham Market," said Mr Nicoll.
If the pilot is successful it is hoped that the scheme can be rolled out elsewhere, particularly in areas where commercial bus routes have gone.
"This type of flexible and green alternative will hopefully help other communities in Suffolk before too long," said Mr Nicoll.
To book Katch call 01728 554455.