Borough’s ‘Little Bus’ service to be upgraded

Cheshire East Council's 'Little Bus' service is to be upgraded and extended across a wider area of the borough from August.

'Little Bus' is the name for the flexible transport service which is currently run by D&G in Cheshire East, providing an alternative means of travel for 600 regular users - including the elderly, the disabled and people who have no access to a scheduled service.

Proposed changes to the service, which were deferred last November to give the council time to assess any impact of the revised council-supported bus network, have been approved by the Council's Cabinet.

Helping people to live active, independent lives and avoid social isolation is the primary reason for funding Little Bus and eligibility for accessing the service remains unchanged. Residents that are disabled, live beyond the reach of any scheduled service or are over 80 years of age, are entitled to use Little Bus.

Core hours will be between 9.30am and 2.30pm.

Andrew Ross, Cheshire East Council's director of infrastructure and highways, said: "These proposals for Little Bus are an important step towards securing services for residents and delivering our savings plans. We have identified a genuine 'spend less – deliver more' opportunity.

"We fully acknowledge that staff at the existing operator will be affected by this decision and the council will fulfil its obligations through consultations supported by our HR personnel."

As part of the proposals, Little Bus will now be operated by the council's own transport company Transport Service Solutions (TSS) and the Council says users can expect to see newer, high-quality vehicles operating across a wider area of the borough.

Tags:
Cheshire East Council, Little Bus
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Manuel Golding
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 6:53 pm
Once again, Cheshire East Council just cannot leave well alone. Leave the nus services to the professionals not a bunch of overpaid CEC amateurs.
CECs forays into the specialist, professional arenas have not been good, ending in overwhelming losses.
It would be a very good idea for this Council to concentrate on doing what it is supposed to do, deliver essential services e.g. bin collections, child protection, old age care etc, and leave the professional remainder to get on and deliver services where required.
The Little Bus service is a commendable initiative - leave it to those who know & can-do.
Gemma Evans
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 8:25 pm
It seems to have gone unnoticed that there will be a 2 hourly Wilmslow to Altrincham 88 bus Sunday service starting on a trial basis from 28th April. This is under contract to Transport for Greater Manchester and won't run through to Knutsford due to the current Cheshire East cabinet refusing to fund Sunday bus services. The timetable is available on the D&G Bus website - as the service is on a use it or lose it basis spread the word, or it won't exist for long.
Oliver Romain
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 12:50 am
I would like to hear what users have to say about this interesting service. It sounds like a lifeline to those who use it. If there are genuine improvements and it costs less it would seem very sensible to bring it in-house.
I have met some amazing CEC staff and I see no reason why CEC staff would not be able to run this essential service effectively. After all they are already doing the administration and funding.
I hope that the drivers who wish to stay can be transferred to the CEC run service as they are likely to have built positive relationships with regular users. It seems that CEC recognise this. D&G will pick up other contracts, it’s the nature of public contracting the job could easily be given to another firm or bought in-house - it’s just business.
When the council gets it right (this may be one of those occasions) they deserve credit.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7:49 am
Ahem Oliver! A State owned and run enterprise. Too many national and local failures. Central planning in Moscow rings a bell. Have a beauty parade and give the contract to the best bidder.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 11:03 am
CoSocius springs to mind. Didn't they provide a service to Lyme Green?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 2:21 pm
Christine McClory
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 5:11 pm
How does one access the Little Bus service?
It sounds perfect for my mum.
Gemma Evans
Thursday 18th April 2019 at 6:10 pm
Let's not forget this service is effectively a low cost Dial a Ride service offering those unable to use normal buses the opportunity to go shopping on a day of Cheshire East's choosing to a location of Cheshire East's choosing e.g. Handforth Dean Tescos on Tuesday. If they hadn't cut back ordinary bus services this would only be required for those with limited mobility but it's also now the only service able bodied people have available to them.

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