THE new community transport initiative linking Redditch to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital is finally up and running.
However it is likely to prove expensive for local residents with charges estimated at around £30 for a return trip.
The hopper bus service it replaces was free while a bus ticket on the 150 is £3.50 or £5.10 return.
However a taxi service could easily be over £40.
Nevertheless the service, Community Transport Connections, run by volunteers, offers people with no access to a car or who have difficulty using other forms of transports to get to their appointments on time and visit loved ones at their convenience.
The system is run through a hub based at Droitwich.
Callers dial a freephone number where they are put through to a central office.
They are then given a reference and either asked to ring their local service to arrange their lift. If they are reluctant or unable to do so, the office will do it for them.
The service is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and they ask for a minimum of 48 hours notice and is backed by county health care providers and Worcestershire County Council.
Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said she was delighted the scheme was now up and running.
“After the hopper bus came to an end in August I was anxious to see a replacement service as soon as possible, so I am delighted at this announcement, although of course I do regret that residents have been left with no service for a few weeks.
“I’m also pleased the Department for Transport’s Total Transport initiative has been able to part-fund the scheme.
“The Government subsidy will mean users are able to use this door-to-door service at a much lower rate than those available commercially.”
To book a journey, call 0300 323 9965.