Exmouth transport group celebrates its anniversary

The lifeline Exmouth and District Community Transport Group is celebrating a landmark 20 years of serving passengers around the area.

BUS passengers have been singing the praises of a lifeline transport group which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Exmouth and District Community Transport Group is a registered charity which provides a much-used transport service to enable people with mobility problems to maintain their independence.

It has two vehicles – a community bus and another used for a ring and ride service.

Lily Trivett, who became the 35,000th passenger to ride the community bus last week, said “I would be lost without it.

“Every fortnight I go to Newton Abbot shopping and then Tesco (in Exmouth) the following week. It is a lifeline for most of its passengers.”

Both are equipped with tail lifts and wheelchair accessibility. The buses can be used by persons of any age who are unable to access public transport.”

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Jill Elson, chairman of the group, said: “It is testament to the hard work of all the staff and management committee that we are here celebrating this anniversary because we have to raise over �1000 per-year.

“Some of this comes from tax-payers, from the parish and county councils, but that only makes up about 25 per-cent of the total amount.”

Jill added: “We get tremendous support from the Budleigh Hospital League of Friends and the medical centre.

“I do not really mind how the money comes in. It could be in pennies or pounds. It means that these people can get out, otherwise they will be isolated in their homes.”

The Exmouth and District Community Transport Group is Exmouth mayor Darryl Nicholas’ chosen charity of the year.

More than �1500 was raised from the mayor’s ball earlier this year to be donated to the group.

Mr Nicholas said: “Exmouth and District Community Transport is a fantastic local charity.

“It offers accessible transport to local residents and they have helped improve the quality of life for many people of all ages, who, through disability or age, would often find it difficult to get out and about.”

Shirley Aitkenhead, 74, of Dening Court, said she would also be lost without the bus.

“It is an excellent service. We have great trips out and the driver is a nice bloke.

“A few years ago I had a mini stroke. By coming on the bus afterwards I felt a different person. I look forward to going out shopping.”

Michael Passmore, 60, has been working as driver of the community bus for more than 10 years.

He said “As a driver I get to see first-hand the impact the services have on the lives of the people who use them.”

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