New minibus takes voluntary service's fleet to three

Carol Drover-Taylor from SVS receives the keys to the new minibus from Paul Barber of GM Coachworks

Sidmouth Voluntary Services Manager Carol Drover-Taylor receives the keys to the new minibus from Paul Barber of GM Coachworks - Credit: SVS

Twyford House based Sidmouth Voluntary Services has taken delivery of a new minibus.

The new vehicle, with greater capacity than the current two buses, will be up and running when the popular Shopping Bus service resumes following its lockdown break.

The 14 seat VW Crafter with a tail lift was fitted out by GM Coachworks of Newton Abbot. The larger-size vehicle can carry twice the number of passengers and has more space for shopping and equipment. 

Carol Drover-Taylor, SVS Manager, said: “The time off the road during lockdown has allowed us to review our services with feedback from service users and our volunteer drivers. The addition of the new, larger vehicle to the fleet means we can still offer a regular service, but with fewer passengers on each bus to maintain safety and the best possible shopping experience. We are also delighted to launch our new service to Seaton Tesco following requests from clients.”

The Shopping Bus service, which operates door-to-door from the user’s home, will run from Monday, August 2. 
The provisional new timetable is:

Mondays: Tesco, Seaton. Pickups from 2.15pm, shop 3.30-4.30pm then return.
Tuesdays: Lidl, Sidmouth. Pickups from 9.15am, shop 10-10.45am then return.
Wednesdays: Waitrose or Lidl, Sidmouth. Pickups from 9.15am, shop 10-10.45am then return.
Thursdays: Waitrose or Lidl, Sidmouth. Pickups from 9.15am, shop 10-10.45am then return.

There are a few spaces still available to book starting in the first week. To access the service you need to join Sidmouth Voluntary Services’ Friends of Twyford Scheme for a one-off lifetime membership payment of £20. Members must live in the Sid Valley area, be 60 years of age or over, or have additional needs. Then each shopping trip booked costs £7 to Seaton Tesco and £4 to Sidmouth Lidl or Waitrose.

If you are an existing member of Friends of Twyford, you can book your trip by email sidmouthvs.transport@gmail.com or call Rich or Val in the Transport Office on 01395 51222. The office is open Monday to Friday 9-11am, or leave a message for a call back at other times. To become a member of Friends of Twyford so you can access the service, contact the secretary via email to: sidmouthvs.secretary@gmail.com or 01395 515063 or pick up an application form from Twyford House in Coburg Street, Sidmouth. Membership of Friends of Twyford also includes the opportunity to join outings to visitor attractions which are arranged by SVS. It is planned that these will start up again in December.

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