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Easier journey to the Alex with the 59 hopper service
5:50pm Friday 26th October 2012 in Local
REDDITCH residents wanting to travel by bus to the Alex Hospital will have an easier journey from Monday, November 5, thanks to the introduction of a more direct service.
Run as part of Redditch Council’s Dial-A-Ride community transport service, the number 59 hopper route will take passengers from Ridings Lane, Church Hill, through the main bus routes of Church Hill, Winyates and Matchborough and on to the Alex Hospital.
There will be a set time table which will run between 9.30am-3.30pm, Monday- Friday.
The number 59 hopper service will offer a different form of community-based transport that can support localised needs and tackle isolation.
The council will share the business model and experiences from running the number 52 and 59 routes with other community-based transport groups in the district.
Councillor Greg Chance, the council’s portfolio holder for transport, said: "I'm really proud of our hopper service, it’s another example of Redditch Council making a difference to people’s lives. It will provide a vital link for residents who currently have limited travel options.
“While we realise there’s a major issue of lack of Redditch buses, these services do improve the situation, particularly to those using the hospital. Coupled with the reintroduction of the pre-9.30am concessionary travel, these are examples of our commitment to community transport at a time of cuts to public transport.”
Councillor Rebecca Blake, who held a public meeting on buses in March, welcomed Redditch Council's involvement, but added: “I know many people need to get to the hospital by bus outside of the times and days the hopper will operate. This is a step in the right direction but doesn’tfully solve the issue for bus passengers getting to the Alex.
“I will continue to campaign on this issue. In addition I met with First Bus last week to ask for an update on requests for services calling in at the Alex and the evening 57/58 service being extended beyond Friday and Saturday.”
The council applied for funding to run the number 59 route from the Community and Local Transport Development Grant, which is administered by Worcestershire County Council.
The service will be funded for 12 months, after which it is hoped passenger demand will make it self-funding.
For more detials about the service, see worcestershire.gov.uk. For more information about Dial-A-Ride, call 01527 64910 between 10.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.