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Alresford bus service saved by county council
5:19pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Winchester
HAMPSHIRE civic chiefs have stepped in to keep Alresford’s well-used Cango bus service going for a further four years.
The county council is stumping up £123,000 to keep the service running following the collapse of operator RJB (UK) in January.
The council arranged an emergency temporary contract to keep the service running and this expires on April 21. The new operator will be FleetBuzz.
Alresford Cango has a flexible route which operates from the town to Basingstoke, serving the villages such as Swarraton, Upper Wield and Farleigh Wallop.
People can get on the Cango buses at either ‘timed’ or ‘bookable’ stopping points.
County councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for environment and transport, said: “There are enormous pressures on our budget, particularly when this is set against backdrop of reduced funding from the Government including a reduction in the rural bus subsidy grant.
“It is important that we ensure we manage our resources carefully to maintain essential services. We want to keep Hampshire moving, as well as support our communities to promote well-being and economic prosperity. Investment in community transport is important, particularly for those in rural areas where traditional bus services have been withdrawn by bus operators. In financially supporting the Alresford Cango, I am satisfied that the needs of the communities it serves will be met.
“Many people find the Cango service extremely valuable. For example, it can make all the difference to an older resident living in rural areas where being able get on a bus from a point nearer home to go shopping or visit friends and relatives means that person is able to live independently even if they do not have a car, and can travel more cost effectively. Likewise, a service like this means that younger people at school or college have a reliable means of transport.”