Published on August 28th, 2018 | by Web Admin0
Volunteer for Community Bus Service?
Following the cancellation of the 499 Bus Service as a result of cuts by Northamptonshire County Council, the Parish Councils of Aynho, Charlton, Croughton, Evenly and Kings Sutton are working together to explore whether a Community based bus service is viable and, if so, how it might be created, developed and managed.
One model for this might be ‘OurBus Bartons’ based in Middle Barton and serving the various villages in its area. Its organisers say that: “It was established in 2016, by a group of dedicated volunteers responding to cuts that left their local community without public transport, and with the twin spectres of rural isolation and stagnation looming. OurBus Bartons provides a scheduled weekday bus service along nine routes linking our local community with transport hubs in larger villages, health centres and supermarkets. After a successful first year, a second vehicle was added.”
OurBus Bartons is a registered company and registered charity and provides timetabled Community Transport links within a 15 mile radius of Middle Barton. The Company and Charity is run by a management committee of ten officers, directors and key volunteers which is separate to the Parish Council. For detailed information see www.ourbusbartons.btck.co.uk
Whilst it’s not within the remit nor affordability of parish councils to develop such a resource, the five Parish Councils are acting on behalf of residents exploring whether such a resource is viable and identify any interested parties to create, fund, run and manage the resource.
BUT, ONLY IF VOLUNTEERS COME FORWARD
As ‘Our Bus Barton’ recognised, any community initiative needs volunteers to run it and a viable business plan that meets running costs from revenue. Luckily, ‘Our Bus Barton’ recruited volunteers as drivers, administrators and timetable schedulers etc, and were able to find someone to lend them the initial ‘seed’ monies to buy a bus.
So, if this idea is to progress we need to hear from anyone interested in volunteering – whether to create and manage the service or help in its running, such as driving, etc.
In the first instance please email Chris, Clerk to Aynho Parish Council indicating in what capacity you might be prepared to help.