Wednesday, 02 November 2016 10:38

New-style rural bus service piloted

Written by  Ruralcity Media
New-style rural bus service piloted

Derbyshire has become the latest county to consider introducing a demand-responsive bus service for rural residents.

The new type of rural bus service will go on trial early next year the Derbyshire Dales – the first time a demand responsive transport (DRT) service has been tried in the county.

The service will run in the wider Ashbourne area where the number of passengers using mainstream buses and community transport dial-a-bus (DAB) 'shopping buses' is low.

DRT routes are more flexible than mainstream bus services because they don't have to stick to fixed routes and timetables.

They are able to divert away from start and finish points depending on where pre-booked passengers want to go.

A similar scheme has proved successful in Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire.

Anyone will be able to use the Derbyshire service including people who currently travel on mainstream buses and passengers using DAB.

Initially journeys would be run by Ashbourne Community Transport for six months but if popular, other operators would be invited to pitch for the work on a more permanent basis.

This new service is being tried out following consultation on our proposals to withdraw funding for subsidised buses.

Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire's cabinet member for transport, emphasised that no final decisions had yet been made on the form passenger transport services would take in the future.

But he added: “It is thought that DRT may have a role in some rural areas of the county where use of traditional bus services and DAB services is low.”

Councillor Collins said Derbyshire had limited experience of this type of service so the proposal was to try it out for six months to see how it worked.

“The pilot will also enable us to gain some more practical experience of working in partnership with other organisations to provide transport,” he added.

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