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Bus to link villages

Posted on August 31 2017 at 2:30:41

A community transport scheme linking several of our villages looks set to become a reality after gaining approval from parish councillors.

The BURT (Bromsgrove Urban and Rural Transport) community minibus scheme has been running since 2009, assisting vulnerable residents who are unable to make essential journeys by conventional transport due to disability or the lack of a suitable service.

Since May 2017, BURT has been run by local charity Bromsgrove and Redditch Network, the local voluntary sector network, and Bromsgrove and Redditch’s Volunteer Centre, using a wheelchair-accessible 10-seater minibus driven by volunteers.

Now the scheme could be expanded to take in Lickey, Blackwell, Barnt Green and Alvechurch, connecting the villages via a 47-minute circular or figure-of-eight route.

Initially, the service would run on Saturdays, with the possibility of adding weekdays if there is enough demand.

Parish, district and county councillor Charlie Hotham reported to colleagues at Barnt Green Parish Council that he had attended a meeting with BURT volunteers and representatives of Lickey & Blackwell and Alvechurch parish councils, who were also keen to take up the scheme – although it would need full approval from each council, plus evidence that there is local demand for the scheme.

Coun Hotham said that the cost would be shared between the three councils, and a three-month trial period would cost £400 per council. Volunteer drivers would also need to be found.

“Currently, the licence arrangements for BURT mean that people have to book journeys in advance, but there should be a way to make this work,” he added.

Barnt Green councillors agreed to give the scheme a try, subject to approval from the other parish councils.

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