Flintshire gets on the buses
Flintshire County Council (FCC) and Higher Kinnerton Community Council (HKCC) celebrated their new community transport service for the area recently as part of a pilot scheme for the Flintshire Community Travel Project.
The new Taxibus service started operating on 6 February 2017 and runs along a fixed route and timetable enabling residents from Higher Kinnerton to access and connect with key services at Broughton.
The Taxishare service operates as a "ring-and-ride" style service for people who are unable to access or use conventional public transport services in South East Flintshire. The Taxishare service helps people to attend health/medical appointments or to connect with the Taxibus service in Higher Kinnerton.
Similar schemes are currently being set up in another eight areas of the County with the communities of Northop Hall, Connah's Quay, Penymynydd, Penyffordd, Buckley, Treuddyn, Llanfynydd and Holywell area all working with the Council to develop community transport schemes with route details and timetables in each area being confirmed in the coming weeks.
The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Bernie Attridge, thanked the local community for supporting the initiative and said:
"This is an exciting opportunity for the community to get involved and support the Council's development of community based transport. Community travel schemes such as this new pilot scheme in Higher Kinnerton are set to play an increasingly important role in the provision of transport for local communities. Flintshire is committed to supporting socially necessary transport, but the harsh reality is that we are simply not in a position to afford the same level of bus subsidies and be able to plug the gaps left by the withdrawal of commercial bus services."
Whilst the difficult financial climate means that the level of subsidy will inevitably reduce over the next three years, Flintshire County Council has taken the decision not to remove the transport subsidy completely, but to invest their resources in replacing the current scheduled services with sustainable local "community based transport'' arrangements.
Councillor Attridge added:
"We want to work in partnership with the local communities to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to meeting some of the gaps. Access to key services is essential to ensure that vulnerable people in rural communities are not isolated The Council has shown its commitment to local rural communities by introducing these schemes and it will now be up to the community to show their commitment by using the service wherever possible to ensure they become sustainable into the future."
For more details about the pilot schemes, please visit:
FCC Deputy Leader - Cllr Bernie Attridge, FCC Councillor Phil Lightfood, Katie Wilby FCC, Chair of HKCC - Cllr Gareth Evans, HKCC Cllr John Dyson, HKCC Vice Chair - Cll Mike Allport, Jessica Pritchard FCC, Ceri Hansom FCC and Clive Tucker from R Williams Ltd.