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Gloucestershire Business News

Rural minibus launched in the Cotswolds

Gloucestershire County Council has today launched its £1.35 million rural minibus pilot in the Cotswolds.

A bespoke minibus service, called The Robin, has been launched in two phases. The Robin launched in the southern area of the Forest of Dean on Monday, October 17, and it has now been followed today with an area of the north Cotswolds.

The Robin will provide on-demand services that will fill a gap where there is no bus provision, complementing existing services.

Residents can book affordable journeys via an app or over the phone. The service will provide a link from bus stops in hamlets or village centres to local transport hubs and train stations, making existing public transport services more accessible.

This is a creative pilot that is all the more timely given the issues with Stagecoach in the county.

How will it work?

Services will run from 7am until 7pm except for bank holidays.

The pilot scheme allows residents to book the trips they need when they need them - giving them greater control over their travel.

Bookings could be made from Monday, October 17, for the Forest of Dean and Monday, October 24, for the Cotswolds.

The exciting new service, which will be run by the county council and local bus operators, starts life as a two-year pilot project.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member responsible for education, skills and bus transport, said: "Bus transport is crucial for many people who live in rural areas. This pilot will provide imaginative and much needed support to the bus services we already have across Gloucestershire.

"It will provide greater choice in transport by helping people get around our rural communities. These brightly coloured, cheerful buses are unmissable and will provide a lifeline to our rural communities."

The Robin was given a £1.35 million boost after the county council was one of only 17 successful local authorities, out of the 56 that applied to the Department for Transport's Rural Mobility Fund.

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