Community Partnership Brings Key Commuter Bus Back to Eccleshall
A unique collaborative partnership between County Councillor Jeremy Pert, Eccleshall Parish Council and D & G Buses, supported by five local businesses, has come up with a plan to save a key commuter local bus which goes from Eccleshall to Stafford, despite central government pulling the funding from 1st April 2019.
With bus service changes planned to come in from April, the existing 8am commuter bus, which is heavily used by students and for people to get to work in Stafford, was going to cease, following the withdrawal of funding from central government.
However, thanks to this unique partnership between County Councillor Jeremy Pert and Eccleshall Parish Council working with D & G Buses, the funding has been found to keep this service on the road, but with a message to local residents of ‘use it or lose it’.
Local County Councillor, Jeremy Pert said “This bus service is well used already, so if we can persuade a few more local people to use it consistently and drive up passenger numbers, then this service has the possibility of being commercially viable for the long term. So this approach to keeping the bus service on the road, supporting those in work and full time education, could have a lasting benefit. This solution could not have been delivered without every party coming together and wanting to keep this bus running.”
Chair of Eccleshall Parish Council, Graham Garner, said “The Parish Council is delighted to be able to support this venture, which we think will be much appreciated by the local community. With so many new houses in the town, letting people know of the bus service we hope will ensure that the service will be well used and continue in the long term”.
To remind local Eccleshall residents of the range and convenience of local bus services, five local business have supported the printing of bus timetables to be delivered to Eccleshall households around the middle of March, prior to the new service starting. The five community minded businesses – Perrys of Eccleshall, iTech, London House Indian Restaurant, the eFest and What’s on in Eccleshall – have all wanted to support this new community bus service.
It is hoped that the collaborative efforts of everyone involved will get the bus service to being viable for the long term thanks to this unique partnership and the desire of all parties to keep this service on the road.