#CatchtheBusWeek | Gorran Bus and Accessible Caring Transport
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: Gorran and District Community Bus, and Accessible Caring Transport.
Gorran and District Community Bus
Jill Baylis, Gorran and District Community Bus
Gorran and District Community Bus (GorranBus) was started in 2000, and launched by no lesser local celebrity than Sir Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project. A group of local residents had identified a very real need for a local service which could collect passengers from their homes now that they were no longer able to drive or to walk to the nearest bus stop. A committee was formed and with enormous help from Cornwall Council we obtained a grant from the Rural Bus Challenge and bought our first bus to operate a Ring and Ride service locally. We are now on our fifth vehicle! A testament to our success.
It took a little while for people to take a chance and use us, but we are now running our five registered services each week at near full capacity. And in the summer months we have many visitors who love to use us too. We have three runs a week to Truro and two to St. Austell, both via Gorran and Mevagissey and many points in between. Once a month we go to Plymouth via Lostwithiel where we have two regular passengers.
All our passengers tell us that they just do not know what they would do without us. We are their lifeline to visit other places and to do their weekly shop. Many who live on their own have now made firm friends with other passengers and this has given them a whole new social life.
In 2003, First Western suddenly cancelled their service taking passengers from Mevagissey to Truro. At Cornwall Council’s request and with their help, we very quickly changed the route of our Truro service to take in Mevagissey as well. To say that this was a roaring success would be an understatement. We invariably have more passengers from Mevagissey than from our other pick-up points and we are very grateful to them for their support.
We are all passionate about community transport and find running our bus very fulfilling. We have wonderful volunteer drivers and we are all frequently thanked by our passengers for our service.
Accessible Caring Transport
Gillian Sweetman, Accessible Caring Transport
Accessible Caring Transport provide an accessible minibus scheme, door to door, for individuals and voluntary/charitable groups/agency, groups of vunerable people with priority for older people, people with disabilities and people living in isolation in the Cynon Valley, Rhondda and Merthyr areas, to enhance existing public transport services, all within a 15 mile zone.
Our members rely heavily on our services as they use our service every day to go shopping (to different places each time). Activities at local day centres e.g. bingo, quizzes, meeting up with friends and various appointments. Plus visiting relatives in Hospital, as we run an evening bus service especially for this, which is funded by our local government.
Without these services, our members would be isolated again and become lonely, which would have a detrimental effect on them. They cannot afford to use taxi’s as these are expensive and cannot access public transport due to where they live (rural areas and no bus service).
As people are now living longer it is in our interest to make our services available to everyone to make their quality of life better. As a lot of our members have health issues or disabilities and need a door to door service.
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.