Community Transport Services – Connecting Communities
Kesgrave has reasonably good bus services. But the buses don’t always go to the places people need to get to and bus connections are not always available at the times people need to travel. Also, some residents are unable to use bus services due to health problems – for example they are unable to walk to / from the nearest bus stop. All of this can mean that people struggle to access essential services and medical appointments.
It is these kinds of journeys that community transport can help with. Community transport services fill in the gaps left by our bus and train services. So, whether you need to reach a rural location off the bus and rail network or attend a medical appointment that you can’t reach by bus, community transport is there to help.
There are three types of service on offer:
- Community Car Services,
- Demand Responsive Transport and
- Door-to-Door Services.
The first two services are available for anyone to use in order to reach a destination off the bus or rail network. Wherever possible community transport will drop you off at or collect you from a bus or rail interchange to make best use of the services available. These services need to be booked in advance.
Door-to-Door Services are slightly different. They are only available to those who are unable to use bus services because of a medical condition or disability. They will take you from door-to-door. The vehicles used are also able to carry wheelchairs and mobility scooters. These services need to be booked in advance.
To make life easy, when you ring the transport providers they will match you up with the service that best suits your needs. In the past you may have seen minibuses out and about with “Suffolk Links” or “Ipswich Dial –A-Ride” branding on them. All of this changed on 13th June 2016. Community transport in Suffolk was completely reorganised and everything is now branded under a new name: Connecting Communities. So this is the name and logo to look out for.
How to Use The Service
- For journeys in Suffolk Coastal District (to Martlesham, Woodbridge and beyond) you need to ring CATS (Coastal Accessible Transport Services) on Tel: 01728 635938 between 8.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
- For journeys that involve travelling into Ipswich and beyond you need to ring BSEVC on Tel: 01449 614271 between 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
CATs have also said that they would be willing to help residents with transport from Kesgrave as far as Ipswich Hospital. But they will go no further into Ipswich than that. If residents need to travel into Ipswich they need to contact the Community Transport operator BSEVC which runs community transport services in Ipswich.
Fares are in line with bus fares and Community Cars cost 45p per mile. Please ask when you book your journey about the use of concessionary bus passes and Travel Vouchers. You will need to register to use the service and this can be done over the phone.
More details can be obtained from: http://communities.suffolkonboard.com/
Journeys can also be planned on http://www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk/ and leaflets and maps are available from Kesgrave Town Council Office.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that community transport schemes rely on volunteer drivers. The scheme organisers are always on the look-out for additional drivers. If you’re interested in driving for a few hours a week please contact them.
Sue Hall, Public Transport Liaison Officer, Kesgrave Council