Generosity sees Sidmouth Hopper hit the road again

The Sidmouth Hopper Bus is now on the road for its summer season and picturted at the launch this we

The Sidmouth Hopper Bus is now on the road for its summer season and picturted at the launch this week are Alan Darrant (SVA chairman), cllr John Dyson, Sidmouth Town Council Vice chairman Jeff Turner, Steven Kendal-Torry, Dawn Vincent of the Donkey Sanctuary and Mike Higgs who will drive the bus. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3168-21-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

SIDMOUTH’S Hopper bus is back on the road for the summer season thanks to the generosity of more than 40 businesses, Britain’s oldest civic society and the town council.

The service, provided for free by a group of volunteers led by town councillor John Dyson, was launched on the seafront last Friday.

Councillor Dyson said: “This sustainable bus service is completely free of charge, thanks to the backing received from Sidmouth Town Council, and from over 40 businesses in Sidmouth who, together, contribute over £7,500. This figure is matched by the Sid Vale Association’s (SVA) Keith Owen Fund, which in the last six years has pledged or paid, £32,600 to the Hopper costs.”

No change has been made to the Hopper’s route or timetable from last year when a record 15,700 passengers used the service.

Mike Higgs, from Sidbury, has taken over from the long-serving Jim Tucker as one of the principal drivers.

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“The service is an excellent example of the town council, businesses and the voluntary sector all working together successfully for over ten years,” he added.

“The Hopper is now admired regionally.”

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Mr Dyson expressed his gratitude to all business sponsors.

He reserved special thanks to John Matthews, of Sign Vision, who arranged the printing of 10,000 leaflets from his Manstone Lane base.

“We continue to be grateful for the SVA contribution. This has helped to make Sidmouth a more attractive destination in recent years, and offers both residents and visitors, real value for money,” he said.

SVA chairman Alan Darrant added: “Keith Owen believed in community volunteers working together for something from which everyone can benefit. The Hopper is a great example.”

The Hopper timetable will appear frequently in the Herald.

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