School provides new community bus for Suffolk villages

New community bus will be replacing outgoing RDCT bus. Picture: Saint Felix School

New community bus will be replacing outgoing RDCT bus. Picture: Saint Felix School - Credit: Archant

As one community bus service winds down, another starts up to replace the much needed community resource.

Following the news the Reydon and District Community Transport Association (RDCT) will be closing down in the near future, Saint Felix School has stepped in to provide an alternative bus in order to ensure the continuation of the service.

The new 16-seater bus has been leased by the school for the next five years, and will be available to local organisations on similar terms to those previously offered by RDCT.

This means voluntary groups will be able to hire the bus for significantly less money than a standard commercial vehicle hire, provided the group have their own drivers.

RDCT had provided minibus hire at concessionary rates to local volunteer groups for almost thirty years since a need was identified to provide day care transport to the former Hillfield Residential Home in Reydon.

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However, after 27 years of service, the trustees were forced to dissolve the association due to escalating costs of vehicle maintenance and a lack of volunteers to replace the retiring committee.

The decision to have Saint Felix School step in followed a consultation with the school and the Voluntary Help Centre based in Southwold.

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The new deal will allow those who rely on the community bus to continue using the service.

Groups which have used the cost-effective way to travel to events in Southwold and surrounding villages include the Luncheon Clubs from both Wangford and Southwold, Southwold Rugby Club, St Barnabas, Sole Bay Bowls Club and the Sole Bay Football Club.

The new bus also comes complete with wheelchair tail-lift to ensure accessibility for disabled users as well.

Graham Hillier, Saint Felix School governor said: 'We are delighted to be ensuring the continuation of transport for the local community with this new minibus.

'The bus will be available for use by all kinds of local organisations, and we would encourage anyone that could make use of it to get in touch.'

From Tuesday, May 1, the community bus will be available to hire for groups in Southwold and Reydon from Mr Colin Bell at Saint Felix School on 07769865716.

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