Cash gets us on the buses

PUBLISHED: 16:46 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 17 June 2010

SIDMOUTH'S Hopper bus will run during FolkWeek for the first time this year. And its continued existence has been secured thanks to a promise of £2,500 funding for the next three years from the Sid Vale Association.

SIDMOUTH'S Hopper bus will run during FolkWeek for the first time this year.And its continued existence has been secured thanks to a promise of £2,500 funding for the next three years from the Sid Vale Association.The bus, which is also sponsored by the Herald, will begin running a month earlier than usual, on June 1.SVA chairman, the Reverend Handel Bennett said it decided to back the service following an appeal from Councillor John Dyson, the Hopper bus working party chairman.He said: "It was agreed to commit £2,500 each year from the SVA trust fund. "We see this as being a significant contribution to the success of Sidmouth as a holiday resort. "More especially, as we become more aware of 'green' issues, it will become more useful to residents, both in terms of shopping centrally, visiting Connaught Gardens, or walking Salcombe and Peak Hills."Mr Dyson told town councillors on Monday: "We are extending the period forward a month, which will really benefit hotels and others using the bus."We are delighted to receive this grant from a well-respected source, and the commitment for at least two further years. It confirms again how support for this project is broadening every year."With higher operating costs, a £1 for adults, 50p for children fare has been introduced. But those holding national bus pass cards will be able to travel free as the service is being registered with the Traffic Commissioners.Mr Dyson said: "This is a modest amount to go towards covering costs. The unknown is how many people we will have on the buses."Core funding of £7,400 comes from Sidmouth Town Council, and £3,000 from the World Heritage Site fund.With a two-bus half-hourly operation at weekends and a one-bus hourly service weekdays, the route, which is the same as last year, connects the town's car parks and free weekend car park at Knowle, with the beach, Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill and Salcombe Hill. If busier in August, a second bus may be introduced weekdays.Timetables will be at Sidmouth Information Centre, hotels and guest houses.

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