Transport pilot launched to help isolated communities around Bungay
- Credit: East Suffolk Council
A community transport pilot is launching in Bungay after a council funding grant.
The Bungay SHoppa scheme will connect those isolated and without transport in neighbouring villages, offering them a chance to travel into the town on market days.
Delivered by the Bungay Events and Business Association (BEBA) and BACT Community Transport, the scheme will serve stops in Wainford, Shipmeadow, Barsham, Ilketshall St Andrew, Ilketshall St John, Ilketshall St Lawrence, Ilketshall St Margaret, South Elmham St Peter, South Elmham St Michael, All Saints, Rumburgh, Homersfield and Flixton.
Didy Ward, chair of BEBA, said: "Connecting the Ilketshalls and the Saints to Bungay on market day has long been on BEBA's wishlist and formed part of the Town Centre Action Plan for Bungay under the East Suffolk Town Centre Initiative.
"We are delighted to be working with BACT on the pilot and hope the Bungay SHoppa will see many people using it to come into town and shop, meet up with friends, have their hair done or even just get out of the house for a couple of hours for a cup of tea and a bit of cake in Bungay's cafes."
Starting from October 28, the pilot will run on Thursdays until February, as well as for any Sunday street markets happening during this time.
Debbie Blowers, BACT's general manager, said: "We are delighted to be part of this joint project running the Bungay SHoppa bus service for passengers from some of the most isolated Suffolk villages into Bungay.
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"It is a great opportunity for people to spend a few hours in town without worrying about parking or getting there if they do not have access to a car.
"Mick, our cheerful and helpful driver, looks forward to meeting his passengers."
The project has received funding from East Suffolk Council's Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and villages Community Partnership, as well as from district councillor Judy Cloke's Enabling Communities budget.
She said: "I am delighted we have been able to bring this project to fruition.
"Visiting rural parishes in my ward, I have become very aware of the lack of amenities and public transport.
"Debbie and her team have worked so hard with BEBA to get this project off the ground.
"I hope it will encourage more people to get out and about and, of course, Bungay will welcome them."
For more information, including the timetable, visit https://bungay-suffolk.co.uk