Time to pay for the Hopper?

SIR - I totally agree with Jillian Downer’s letter regarding the “Hopper” bus. I would rather have money spent on other things, particularly keeping the parks and flower displays as welcoming as they have been this year.

Having just returned from the Isle of Wight, Shanklin has the “Shanklin Steamer” which travels around Shanklin in the Isle of Wight. All have to pay �2.50 (one way) or �4.00 all day ticket.

In these days of financial restraint, I would like to know how much it costs to run the “Hopper”, total of grants etc. This service does seem unfair competition to Axe Valley Buses, which runs the 899 service on a commercial basis all year, which also goes to the Donkey Sanctuary and even 52 to Seaton which also stops nearby.

Do the “Hopper” drivers get paid? By the “Hopper” driver, there is a tip tray? This again seems totally unfair on Stagecoach Drivers and First Drivers who offer a great service, too, without “tip trays”.

When we travelled on this Hopper we travelled to the Hunters Moon Hotel front door, to deliver a couple. We seem to be looking after holidaymakers at our own community expense!

Lastly, when Persimmon developed the land around Stowford we were told of them providing a “park and ride” to help the traffic congestion to Sidmouth. This seems to have gone very quiet of late.

S Harper

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