COMMUNITIES in Selsey and Bosham have been treated to new minibuses to help give local vulnerable residents, their independence.
Bosham Monday Club and Selsey Community Bus Association have both been awarded grants from the Department of Transport, to help elderly residents, people with learning and physical disabilities and those who do not have access to a commercial bus service.
Dave West, chairman of the Bosham Monday Club Transport committee, said he was delighted with the news their bid for a replacement minibus had been successful.
“It will ensure the future of this local operation on which many in the Bosham community have depended for over 40 years.
“Sourcing funds to maintain a minibus is an ongoing challenge, let alone raising sums for a new vehicle, so the award is a tremendous event.”
Bosham Monday Club provides social meetings for elderly residents of Bosham and the bus provides those residents with transport to social occasions.
The Selsey Community Bus picks up residents – usually elderly – and takes them to the town centre. They have about one hour and 30 minutes to do their shopping and then they are picked up and taken back to their nearest drop-off points.
The service is run by a small team of dedicated volunteers, supported financially by local councils and voluntary donations from passengers.
Fred Basson, who runs the service, said he hoped the new minibus would include a destination board above the driver to allow passengers to see where the bus is heading.
“The service will remain the same, but a new bus will give us far more reliability.”
He explained the service was open to all but the majority of passengers would otherwise be left to use the number 1 bus service which only goes on main roads and therefore can be more difficult for residents to reach if they have difficulty walking.
More than 300 local charities and community groups across England received new minibuses from the Department for Transport’s £25m Community Transport Minibus Fund.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know first-hand how important transport providers like these can be to keep rural areas alive and protect the independence of local residents.
“They are often the lifeblood of local communities so it is only right that the government gives them the support they deserve.
To find out more about Bosham Monday Club, call 01243 573251 or for more about Selsey Community Bus Association, call Mr Basson on 01243 605353.