Hopper Bus launched for Sidmouth's summer season

ALTERNATE stops at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary will be made by this year s Hopper Bus service. Officially launching the 2010 circular service on Wednesday, town councillor John Dyson welcomed David Cook, chief executive of the Sanctuary,

ALTERNATE stops at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary will be made by this year's Hopper Bus service.

Officially launching the 2010 circular service on Wednesday, town councillor John Dyson welcomed David Cook, chief executive of the Sanctuary, the latest business to join sponsors.

He explained the bus, which takes in the town's car parks, travelling between Peak Hill and Salcombe Hill, needed to stick to an hour-long cycle, which was why a compromise had been made in extending the service to the Sanctuary four times a day.

Representatives of county, district and town council, together with Sid Vale Association, Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association and traders, including sponsor Mark Feeney from Trumps, attended the launch, which welcomed back popular driver Jim Tucker.


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Mr Dyson said he and others in the working party had been "quietly courting" the private sector for the past few years, seeking financial backing, so it could depend less on Sidmouth Town Council's grant and still have enough to sustain the service, which has, he said: "Been growing every year for the last six years."

Other new sponsors are Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Clock Tower Restaurant, Connaught Gardens and Salcombe Regis Country Park.

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First person on the bus this year was a 96-year-old woman from Sidmouth, who is a regular user of the service, he added.

Councillor Peter Sullivan, town council chairman, thanked John for his hard work and innovative ideas to improve the service.

"I would like to see it now pushing forward and for the town council to start relinquishing some of the way we run this service. I think when Tom Cox started the service up that was his original idea, that it would gradually go over to the private sector.

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