A vital bus route for vulnerable and elderly people will continue to run following collaboration between volunteers, Torbay Community Development Trust and Torbay Council.
Local dignitaries, local residents and the leaders of Torbay Community Development Trust all came together yesterday at Occombe Farm Paignton for the launch of the T.C.D.T. Community Bus service.
Torbay Community Development Trust have joined forces with a team of dedicated volunteers to take over the running of the recently axed 60/61 bus service between Paignton and Torquay. The new community led service renamed the 60 will come into effect from April 3rd and offer passengers a similar service to the old route, travelling from Paignton to Torquay, via Occombe Farm, Preston, Livermead and St Lukes. The original bus service providers Local Link, withdrew the route as they felt it was no longer commercially viable, however a recent transport survey by the Torbay Community Development Trust demonstrated how vital the service was to the lives of vulnerable and older people.
As with the previous 60/61 service, the new 60 bus route will offer residents a Monday to Friday service. The new route will also offer a Saturday service enabling local residents who rely on the bus greater flexibility to travel around the Bay on the weekend. The continuation of the service, which has created a number of job opportunities for drivers, was only made possible due to Torbay Council generously offering a favourable concessionary fare agreement to the new providers, without which the service would not be able to run.
Rhian Keyse, Ageing Well Community Transport Coordinator said “We are delighted that TCDT will be operating the new 60 bus service. Our research into transport needs demonstrated that transport links across Torbay are absolutely critical. Without access to transport, many of the most vulnerable members of the community say they feel lonely and isolated, which has a negative impact on their wellbeing. This new initiative is a real triumph of community action and shows what can be done by dedicated local volunteers working to solve issues within their communities. The new route will be reliant on the support of the community and we would like to encourage residents to make good use of the service “.
Cllr Mark King, Executive Lead for Housing, Planning, Transport and Waste said “I am delighted to hear about this news. The 60/61 is a vital route for the residents of Torquay and Paignton and many would be left isolated without this service. The CDT and their partners have worked hard over the past few months to put this route together and I have supported them every step of the way. This is a good day for the Bus users of the Bay.”
Well done to all concerned from the Torbay Times Team.