Community minibuses used by many older and disabled people are returning to the streets of Bristol thanks to a £435,000 cash injection from Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
Elderly residents and those with disabilities were left high and dry after Bristol Community Transport suddenly pulled the plug on its Dial-a-Ride and community group transport services last month.
But Mayor Norris has announced that four companies – The Big Lemon group, Lawrence Weston Community Transport, CATT Community Bus and The Sprint – will together take over the running of these services starting this week.
Thanks to the deal struck by Mr Norris, a £435,000 a year cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority will see The Big Lemon pick up the bulk of the community transport services including Dial-a-Ride, while the three other operators will run the remainder of the services.
People can start booking journeys with the four operators, including the Big Lemon by calling 01273681681.
Around 600 people used the vital community services provided by Bristol Community Transport, such as taking older people to the shops, before its demise.
Mayor Dan Norris said: “I promised the West of England Authority I lead would leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find a solution. I’m pleased a £435,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority means we can save these services which I know are a lifeline for so many Bristolians, particularly our elderly and disabled residents. I know from my very full post bag and from representations from local MPs led by Karin Smyth how important dial a ride and all the other important services formerly run by Bristol Community Transport are to many local people to get to the shops and doctors. I’m pleased these services will be starting up once again”.
To find out more about the community transport schemes operating in your area in the West of England, including contact details, please visit http://www.travelwest.info/community-transport