Age UK To Continue Running St Mary’s Buzza Bus

buzza bus 2014The contract to run the Council’s Buzza Bus has been awarded to Age UK for a further two-and-a-half years.

The service, which provides subsidised transport for elderly and vulnerable adults on St Mary’s, was retendered in July. But the charity was the only organisation that applied for the contract.

Councillors approved their appointment at Monday’s Full Council Meeting.

Cllr Richard McCarthy, the Chairman of the Community Service Committee that manages the service, said it has been one of the Council’s most successful partnerships, even though it got off to a “creaky start” after problems beset the innovative electric vehicle.

Those have since been resolved and he said the bus has proved its value to the community, becoming Age UK’s most successful dial-a-ride scheme in the region.

He also praised driver Dave Maybrey, who he said had been “an absolute star.”

There’ll be no increase in the cost of the service, which remains at £24,300 a year.

But that led Cllr Colin Daly to question the increase in the fares last year. They went up from £1 to £1.50 per trip, based on the assumption that the running costs would be higher, he said.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin said money for maintenance and repairs might be needed in the future and Richard said a full report would be brought to the next Community Services meeting.