More than £150,000 of extra funding is to be invested in the UBUS community transport service after the district council decided to retain and enhance scheme this week.
During Monday’s cabinet meeting Cllr Jo Barker explained that the current UBUS contract was approaching its end and the council now had to decide what to do next.
Options on the table ranged from stopping the service, replacing it with a taxi token scheme and retaining and enhancing it.
In the end members selected the latter option as it would come with increased funding of £154,000 from the county council, on top of the £186,000 it already contributes to the UBUS scheme.
The UBUS community transport service operates on dial-a-bus basis for residents who struggle to get transport to local destinations during the week.
UBUS vehicles are fitted with ramps or tail lifts to ensure they are as easy as possible for everyone to access including wheelchair users.
Cllr Jo Barker, People Portfolio said: “Social and rural isolation are major local challenges given the rurality of Stratford District. The UBUS plays an important role and lifeline for many to help combat this.
“We know – and evidence shows – how important this service is for users, with 98% very satisfied / satisfied with the helpfulness and attitude of the driver. In the latest Citizen’s Panel, UBUS was the second most highly supported District project.”
The extra money will subsidise the use of concessionary passes, extend operating hours, increase the area the service covers and boost the number of UBUS vehicles.