#CatchtheBusWeek | Filittabus and Tavistock Country Bus
This Catch the Bus Week, we’re sharing the stories of community transport providers who connect their communities through running vital community bus routes and services. Without community transport, so many of the people who depend on these services would be left alone, without the transport they rely on. Below are the stories of two of our members: Flittabus Community Transport and Tavistock Country Bus.
FlittaBus Community Transport
Linda Horn, FlittaBus Community Transport
Flittabus Community Transport is a not-for-profit organisation who are run and operated by more than 30 volunteers and provide transport facilities to town and village communities through mid-Bedfordshrie via a scheduled timetable which covers twelve routes. Anyone can use Flittabus and bus passes are accepted on all routes.
Our bus routes are designed to provide services to shops and town centres from village locations not well served by other bus companies. In 2017 when the local commercial bus company decided that it was no longer economically viable to continue their weekly service from central Bedfordshire to Hitchin, Flittabus along with our neighbouring Community Transport organisation, Wanderbus, stepped in to cover most of the original route.
The services are aimed at all ages, but especially those who find it difficult to walk from main bus routes with heavy shopping and our volunteer drivers will often go out of their way to help passengers with their shopping, right to their front door. The passengers quickly get to know the drivers and greet them as old friends.
Without Flittabus, many of our passengers say that they would find it difficult to continue to live independently, but as well as providing a very practical solution to isolation, the bus journeys themselves are a social occasion with lots of lively chat on-board!
The continuation of what many of our passengers see as a vital service depends heavily on our ability to continue to attract volunteers and we are fortunate that at the moment we have so many wonderful drivers. Our section 22 permit, however, is crucial to our ability to operate and to provide these important services to our local community.
Tavistock Country Bus
Derek de Glanville, Tavistock Country Bus
The Tavistock Country Bus runs a regular service throughout the year, on 4 or 5 days each week.
Our aim is to provide a community transport service for the residents of Tavistock and the surrounding area who are in need of such a service because of age, sickness, disability (mental or physical), poverty, or a lack of availability of adequate public transport services.
We transport our passengers into the town of Tavistock to do their weekly shopping or attend appointments etc and then return them to their homes. They can use their bus passes and so their travel is free. We also run services from Tavistock to Truro, Exeter, Torquay, Barnstaple, Dawlish, on Saturdays, and Newton Abbott and Trago Mills on two Wednesdays each month. Our timetables are all available on our website or from the Information Centre in Tavistock.
For many of our passengers, using our bus is the only way they can travel into town and meet up with friends in other towns. The bus itself is a social hub, with many friendships and support relationships starting up among our regular passengers and also with our drivers, who are all volunteers, along with our admin staff. If we didn’t provide this service, there could be serious cases of isolation and depression, and so we try to ensure that as many people as possible know of our existence and routes.
There is currently no commercial bus service between Tavistock and Launceston, and so we have stepped in to run this route twice a week (on a Tuesday and Thursday).
For information on all our routes you can reach us by phone on 07580 260683, or our website tavistockcountrybus.co.uk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.