Long-standing Chair Simon Harrington and wife Barbara are moving to Suffolk later this year.
Incoming Chair Steve Grove said “Simon has worked tirelessly for Bob the Bus over many years. He’s been incredibly hands-on, and has guided the organisation through its expansion from the days of the Harbourne Shuttle to become one of the most respected of local charities. He will be a very hard act to follow.”
Bob the Bus operates two regular round-town services from Monday to Friday, connecting Follaton and Bridgetown to the town centre, Leatside surgery and the railway station. These are ‘hail and ride’ services, so can stop anywhere on the route. They’re popular with shoppers, tourists and students – in fact anyone who wants to get around cheaply. From April, the service to Harberton and Harbertonford is being withdrawn, as these villages are now well served by the Tally Ho 164 route. But Bob still goes to Ashprington/Cornworthy (Wednesday and Friday) and Stoke Gabriel (Tuesday and Friday).
And, from the end of March, Bob will be accepting contactless payments from your credit card or phone, in addition to bus passes or even cash.
Bob the Bus is making a good post-Covid recovery, thanks partly to on-going support from Town and District councils. Regular passenger numbers are up to about 60% of their pre-pandemic level, and its Travel Club and private hire activities are operating normally. But there are lots of challenges ahead. Steve said “We have a great team of nearly 40 volunteer drivers, but we need more to maintain and grow the range of services on offer. And we’re always on the look-out for a secure hub where we could park and maintain our 4 buses more easily. If you’d like to help, contact us via bobthebus.org.uk, or phone 07800 745332.”