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Community bus gets facelift

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:28 01 August 2010

A COMMUNITY bus that serves Halesworth and Holton has undergone a facelift to try and entice more people to use it.

The Halesworth Area Community Transport (HACT) committee, a group of volunteers who run the 511 bus service, has rebranded the bus the Halesworth Hoppa and repainted it a lively yellow and blue.

A COMMUNITY bus that serves Halesworth and Holton has undergone a facelift to try and entice more people to use it.

The Halesworth Area Community Transport (HACT) committee, a group of volunteers who run the 511 bus service, has rebranded the bus the Halesworth Hoppa and repainted it a lively yellow and blue.

It is hoped that the new-look bus will attract more young people, while the new name will draw attention to the fact you can hail the bus from absolutely anywhere- providing it is safe for the bus to stop.

“The bus has been going for some years now but it's perceived as an old people's bus,” said Dorothy Frost, of the HACT committee. “It looked like an old people's ambulance! We're trying to get more people interested in it, in using it and driving it.

“We called it the Halesworth Hoppa because we're trying to get the message across that you can get on anywhere- you don't have to be at a bus stop. People can use it from their door- this is the best part of it.”

The new logo features a road with a cartoon bus driving down it, which was drawn by one of the volunteer drivers Birt Green.

The project cost more than £500 and has been funded by the organisers of Halesworth's Gig in the Park music festival, who donate money to local causes from festival funds.

John Marshall Potter, who runs Gig in the Park, said: “I thought it would be a worthwhile local cause. It's just one way of putting the money back into the community.”

The service was set to close last year after Suffolk County Council withdrew its funding, however it was saved by Halesworth funeral directors Woolnough's who agreed to sponsor it until 2011. Halesworth Town Council also keep the bus running with yearly contributions.

The bus calls at the supermarket door, the middle car park outside the White Hart pub, the market place and Cutler's Hill surgery, via all residential areas in Halesworth and Holton.

Bus pass holders ride for free, non bus pass holders are charged £1, children up to 16 years are charged 50p, and under 5s are free.

Mrs Frost added: “We are truly grateful to Woolnough's Funeral Service for their sponsorship and support and Halesworth Town Council for their contribution and support for this much needed service.”

If you would like to use the bus, telephone Brian on 01986 875900 for a timetable, or call at the Halesworth Area Community Transport office at the railway station.

Gig in the Park will also be giving money to the First Responders, the Community Nursing Fund, Halesworth Christmas lights switch on, and more projects throughout the year.

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