West Berkshire Council has funded a new community bus for the Newbury and Thatcham Handybus service.
Run by the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire (VCWB), the new book-a-ride service will begin operating in the towns in the next couple of weeks.
The bus, which has been adapted to be fully accessible, was successfully funded through the Council's Capital Grant Fund, which is available for all local community transport operators to bid for.
The new service will provide an opportunity for those who are unable to use public transport to access local town centres for shopping, attend appointments and meet friends. The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire has provided a Handybus service for residents since 1986. Prior to the pandemic almost 60,000 journeys were made using these services, which has been an invaluable service under the Council's support for community transport schemes.
Garry Poulson, Director of Volunteer Centre West Berkshire, said: "We have a great partnership with West Berkshire Council's community transport department. They fully appreciate the enormous value of supporting community transport groups in the district.
"We are very grateful to West Berkshire Council for the investment that has made in the service that will support older, less able people to go about their business in the two towns."
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said:
"The Council continues to support community transport schemes and has allocated £55,000 in funding this year to help local providers deliver services, as well as making grants totalling £50,000 available for capital projects each year.
"Community transport continues to be available across the district, and remains a valued service by those who use it. We believe it promotes a sense of community in an environmentally friendly way and also builds on incredibly valuable services that all local community transport groups provide for residents across West Berkshire."
If you are interested in using this service, or want to volunteer as a driver, please contact Newbury and Thatcham Handybus directly on: 01635 37111 between the hours of 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, or email: email@example.com.