Islands get a ticket to ride

Islands get a ticket to ride

The Isles of Scilly have their first public transport service
thanks to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

A new Dial a Ride scheme took to the road this month and looks
set to develop a bespoke door to door demand-led service for island
residents over the age of 60 or disabled people of any age.

The new service, which is operated by Age Concern on behalf of
the Council of the Isles of Scilly, received a £17,265 RDPE grant
towards its total cost of £58,750 from the islands’ Local Action
Group (LAG).

At a cost of just £1 a day for customers, the six day a week bus
service is available for a range of journeys – to the hospital and
the health centre, to and from the Quay, to the library and the
swimming pool as well as shopping trips.

Christened Buzz a Bus following a naming competition held by the
Five Island School, the bus also boasts distinctive bumble bee
logos designed by youngsters belonging to the islands’ Rainbow
troop.

Public support for the new service is strong, with more than 100
people already registering to join the service.

Fully electric, and soon to be powered by electricity from a
100% renewable source, the bus is a fully equipped disability
accessible vehicle. It looks set to make a real difference not only
to the environment and to the islands’ carbon credentials but also
to the lives of many of the islands’ elderly residents.

Training to maintain and handle the specially developed vehicle
was also included in the project costs.

It is hoped that the new service will encourage additional low
carbon electric transport options across the islands.

“It will help to lift low carbon expectations on Scilly without
adding anything to the decibel count on the communities’ streets,”
said Ann Lewis, Head of Transport for Age Concern Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly.