By Usha Garrattley, Community Builder for Ellacombe & Plainmoor
Exciting times coinciding with the beautiful spring-like weather we’ve been having has been the beginning of getting the 65 Community Bus route up and running again.
Along with Cllr Jermaine Atiya-Alla, I’ve been out and about in the Ellacombe and Babbacombe community delivering ‘proposal flyers’ and getting feedback for the 65 Community Bus, which to most people is more than just a bus and described as a ‘lifeline’ due to the lack of transport in these areas. The ideal is to provide a service that meets the needs of as many people as possible, and it’s only through your feedback and support we will be able to do this.
Building on the successful tried and tested subscription service that’s working with the 61 bus route in Livermead and St Luke’s, the idea is to replicate the same with the 65 route which means we need at least 50 households pledging to subscribe £5 a week. Just imagine if we got more people signing up… we might even be able to reduce the subscription amount!
And yes, you may have heard that Torbay Council is in talks with Torbay Community Development Trust about providing subsidised transport for certain routes for six months while they carry out a Bay-wide passenger needs assessment.
However, we still need to identify whether people would be willing and able to subscribe in case subsidies are not available from October onwards. If you need the 65, please pledge support to sustain the bus long term and enable it to become a reality.
What’s been heart-warming for me is catching up with people in the community and picking up so easily with where we were over a year ago and the number of people stepping up and offering to deliver the flyers in their streets.
If you would like to help out please let me know and I’ll get some dropped off to you – even though the deadline date on the flyers has passed your feedback is important to us so please keep it coming!
And if you need any further information or have any questions, please contact Torbay Community Development Trust’s community transport co-ordinator Kelly Bedoyan on 07816 407495.