Rural lifeline for isolated villages
By John HowardVILLAGERS are benefiting from a new rural lifeline after the county council helped fund a taxi bus service.The new service is available for people to book a day in advance and takes them from their villages to meet connections with regular bus services.
By John Howard
VILLAGERS are benefiting from a new rural lifeline after the county council helped fund a taxi bus service.
The new service is available for people to book a day in advance and takes them from their villages to meet connections with regular bus services.
It started this week in Badingham, Brabling Green, Carlton, Kelsale, Rendham, Sweffling, Peasenhall, Benhall, Bruisyard, Cransford, Great Glemham, Sibton, Parham and Yoxford.
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Sue Davey, the council's senior public transport officer, said: “These communities are very isolated from regular services, the majority do not have village shops or post offices even.
“This will really help people, it will provide a fantastic service. We can't afford to subsidise hourly services to little villages, big buses with one person on board.
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“But this service will be available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and people will be able to use it to get to and from work, to do their shopping. This is for everybody in the villages and will cover a wide area.”
Julian Swainson, the council's portfolio holder for transport, said: “I am very keen on this and would like to see it extended so everyone in rural Suffolk has access to public transport and is not dependent on cars.
“At the moment we spend a significant amount of money on a relatively small number of scheduled bus services in rural areas, often with a fairly low take up.
“I look forward to more community bus services, dial a ride schemes. It means people do not have to live on an existing bus route, they can just call up and it comes to where they live.”
The service is run by the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) charity and has been given about £62,000 from the county council. If successful, the pilot project could be rolled out to other villages.
Anyone wanting to use the service should contact the WRVS on 01473 211210 between 9.30am and 1.30pm on the day before they want to travel.