Crowdfunder appeal to help buy replacement lifeline bus

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 January 2020

Exmouth Community Transport chairman Jill Elson with one of their buses. Picture: Exmouth Community Transport

Exmouth Community Transport chairman Jill Elson with one of their buses. Picture: Exmouth Community Transport

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A Crowdfunder has been launched in a bid to boost a lifeline transport service for isolated and lonely residents.

xmouth Community Transport (ECT) needs to find £57,000 to purchase a much-needed replacement vehicle and so far has raised £27,000.

The volunteer-run charity has launched a Crowdfunder page to help meet the £30,000 shortfall.

ECT is looking to replace an existing bus which has fallen into disrepair.

Jill Elson, chairman of ECT, said she cannot order the new bus until the full total has been raised.

She said: "We have got a larger bus that holds 16 passengers and that is now beginning to fail maintenance wise therefore it is costing a lot of money to keep it on the road.

"The essential thing about our service is we have got two buses and, with more people living independently in their homes, we are trying to prevent isolation and loneliness."

Founded in 1990, the 'ring and ride' service offers door-to-door timetabled services, for people with special transport needs, using vehicles with passenger lifts.

It serves residents in Exmouth, Lympstone, Exton, Woodbury, Woodbury Salterton, Colaton Raleigh, Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton and Yettington.

Passengers are taken to supermarkets, pub lunches, garden centres and to Exmouth Cinema.

So far, a number of community organisations have contributed towards the fundraising effort.

The Norman Family Trust has donated £10,000, Exmouth Hospital League of Friends £8,000, League of Friends of Budleigh Hospital £5,000, Budleigh Salterton Town Council £2,000, Budleigh Lions Club £1,000 and Manor Lodge Residential Care Home £1,000.

Miss Elson said she has also applied for funding through Exmouth Town Council's community fund.

She added: "The demand for the service is greater than what the current vehicle is capable of.

"Without this service, people would be lonely and isolated.

"Especially those who have personal care who live independently in their own homes."

Those wanting to take advantage of the 'ring and ride' bus should ring 01395 266662 between 10am and 2pm. For more information go to the ECT website

To contribute to the Crowdfunder which ends on March 9, go to Exmouth Community Transport's page

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