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Bus service is under review

PUBLISHED: 10:41 07 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:19 01 August 2010

A THREATENED community bus service could be saved if the volunteers who run it can reach an agreement with the county council over its future.

From today the 511 bus, which serves Halesworth and villages around Holton, will be merged with commercial services as part of the new 601 route.

A THREATENED community bus service could be saved if the volunteers who run it can reach an agreement with the county council over its future.

From today the 511 bus, which serves Halesworth and villages around Holton, will be merged with commercial services as part of the new 601 route.

The old bus, which was run by Halesworth Area Community Transport (HACT), used to pick elderly people up from their homes to provide a door to door service to the shops or doctor's surgery and fears have been raised that a commercial bus route would leave many of the people who relied on the old service stranded.

But HACT and Suffolk County Council are now discussing the possibility of the volunteers offering a dial-a-ride type service which would be funded by the council to run alongside the normal bus route.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “At the last meeting the HACT committee were left to seek in principle agreement for this service and SCC would then work with them on the detail of how the service can be achieved. This will not be a bus service and will be a pre-booked dial-a-ride type service. This is in keeping with the outgoing 511 service that should also have been pre-booked for similar transport.

“The 601 service will proceed as planned and as soon as HACT give us the green light we will introduce, at the earliest opportunity, a service for the other residents. This will not be a local bus service as before.”

A spokesman for HACT said that talks are still going on and that she hoped a decision could be made next week.

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