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Charity set to cover island's bus routes
6:00am Friday 25th October 2013 in News
A CHARITY is stepping in to cover Canvey bus routes that could be axed as Essex County County tries to save cash.
Benfleet-based Wyvern Community Transport is launching a new door-to-door service for residents on the island that will be free to anyone with a bus pass.
The service, which will be called DAR73, will also be open to anyone without a pass at a flat fee of £3 for a single or return trip.
The move comes as Essex County Council consults on the future of some of its rural, evening and weekend bus services in the county.
AndyWoodley, transport manager at Wyvern Community Transport, in Kiln Road, Benfleet, said: “We are aware there have been a lot of issues with changes and re-routings and it seems to have really affected people on Canvey Island.
“We were contacted by Essex County Council who asked us if we could help in anyway.
“We already operate a dial-aride service but this one will be open to people of all ages – and free to people who have a bus pass.”
Although the service is for door-to-door journeys on Canvey Island, residents can also request to be dropped off at Benfleet Station.
Mr Woodley said this will enable people to pick up buses to Southend Hospital and rail services.
He added: “We were really keen to provide a service that would help residents get off the island and Benfleet is a main hub. As a Canvey resident I am really pleased we have been able to step in and provide this service.”
Essex County Council is currently consulting which rural, evening and weekend bus services it can cut in a bid to shave some of the £7.9 million it spends on subsidised travel.
The council is also running a six-week consultation into its home to school transport policy, which is currently costing the authority more than £25million a year to run.
Bookings for the new Canvey bus service can be made up to seven days in advance or on the day itself depending on availability.
The service will start on November 4 and the charity will be taking bookings from around October 28.
To book, call 01268 754936 or 753513.
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