More buses for isolated residents in rural villages

The road to Spridlington, one of the many villages to benefit from the expanded bus-service.
The road to Spridlington, one of the many villages to benefit from the expanded bus-service.

Hundreds of residents in more than 60 villages in the Gainsborough area and across West Lindsey will benefit from an expansion to the CallConnect bus-service.

Saxilby, Dunholme, Spridlington and Scothern are among some of the rural areas in the district that will be served by the on-demand buses from next Monday (November 6). And the expansion should improve the quality of lives for previously isolated people, enabling them to go where they want, when they want.

“Connectivity is so very important to many of our residents,” said Coun Lewis Strange. member champion for transport at West Lindsey District Council.

“The new CallConnect bus-service will be an asset to those who don’t have access to their own transport.”

As previously reported, the district council has worked in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and Stagecoach East Midlands to extend the on-demand bus-service to extra areas in the district to tackle the shortage of public transport there.

The new buses will help villagers travel to more locations, community hubs and public services, as well as providing a valuable link to the wider bus and rail network.

“I truly commend the councils and Stagecoach for filling this gap,” added Coun Strange. “The service grants freedom to residents, allowing them to meet up with their friends of even make a hospital appointment. They will feel much less cut-off from society.”

CallConnect is a public bus-service that operates in response to pre-booked requests. Registration is free, but passengers must be a CallConnect member to book a journey. They can then use the service for any reason and as frequently as required.

Coun Lewis was joined on a whistle-stop tour of the new service by Anita Ruffle, transport manager at the county council, who said: “It is so refreshing to find a creative solution to the transportation problem affecting so many of West Lindsey’s residents.

“This partnership is excellent too because we are all working collaboratively towards the same goal -- to make CallConnect a roaring success.”