Community Bus Partnership presented with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

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Representatives from a community bus service gathered on the Isle of Wight recently to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The operation provides essential bus services to areas across the island, and now it has been singled out as an extraordinary success story, due in no small part to the commitment and hard work of all those involved.

“These services are absolutely vital to those who may otherwise find it difficult to travel across the island – with 93% of passengers on routes 22, 24 and 32 using concessionary passes,” said Southern Vectis General Manager, Richard Tyldsley.

“Every year 33,000 journeys are taken on these three services, so we know how important they are to residents in Lake, Shanklin, Yaverland, Cowes, Gurnard and Northwood. Southern Vectis provides buses for the routes and will continue to do so, thanks to support from the council – and of course from the drivers who volunteer. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

The service was founded in 2011, to ensure elderly residents in the remote villages of Newchurch, Northwood, Rewstreet Sibden Hill and Yaverland had easy access to local towns.

“Without transport, some residents with limited mobility or not able to afford a car, would have been stranded unable to shop or visit the doctor,” added Richard. “After 10 years, the partnership is well established and is here for the long term.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the entire team – especially the volunteer drivers, who have taken on the role of professionals to provide a vital lifeline for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Those involved in the partnership were presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

The operation is a partnership between Go-Ahead Group-owned Southern Vectis and the local community bus team. SOUTHERN VECTIS