Bus passes connect people to jobs

RURAL job hunters are being given passes allowing them free bus travel in Northamptonshire.

Fifty passes are providing up to six round-trip journeys for job interviews on the county's pioneering CountyConnect bus service.

They are being issued after Northamptonshire County Council teamed up with South Northamptonshire Council.

The passes are available to members of SNC's Job Club – which helps people looking to return to employment, training or education.

If this pilot scheme is successful it could be expanded so more passes become available and to other areas of the county.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage said the aim was to help people back to work and boost prosperity in the county.

"It makes sense for us to open up our service in this way to help remove what we know is often one of the biggest barriers for rural job-seekers to reach the workplace.

"The county council is looking at every opportunity to support partners such as South Northamptonshire Council with creative projects such as its Job Clubs initiative, which has already proved its worth.

"We hope these free passes will assist even more people in their search for jobs and training."

The scheme has already found work for over 150 placements.

Councillor Rupert Fordham, SNC portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration, said: "We still need to work hard to ensure employment opportunities are open to those in the more remote parts of our district.

"This travel scheme will be a real boost to those looking for work and those that may otherwise struggle to finance travel to interviews.

"I would encourage anyone actively looking for work to join our Job Club scheme, take advantage of this great travel offer and benefit from the expert advice available."

CountyConnect differs from conventional bus services in that customers book a seat on specially designed low-floor mini-buses either by telephone, text message or via the internet.

They arrange to be picked up at a specific time at their nearest village bus stop. Journeys can be made on CountyConnect between 7am and 7pm.

People can book to travel to any other stop in the area served, not just the local town centre.

Rather than providing occasional 'shopper' journeys, the service aims to make all kinds of journeys possible, including medical appointments, and regular journeys to college or work.


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.