Service gets a bigger bus

THE hopper bus scheme in Ponteland is helping even more residents following its initial success.

A dial-a-ride service that picks up people from and returns them to their door was established in late 2012. The route is flexible and covers places such as GP surgeries, shopping areas and the library.

It made things much easier for elderly and disabled residents who found it difficult to get to a bus stop and had no other form of transport, as well as people who find low floor access helpful for baby buggies and walking frames.

Those who sign up as members can also visit their friends as well as go to appointments and carry out important tasks.

Now in response to high demand, the previous mini-bus has been replaced by a larger vehicle.

The weekly service is being run by Adapt North East. It has been set up in partnership with Northumberland County Council under the Ageing Well programme, Ponteland Town Council, Ponteland Community Partnership and Home Instead Senior Care.

Coun Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult services at the county council, said: “It is really good to see that a service which was set up a year ago has shown that it is being well used and as a result, we are having to get a bigger bus.”

The vehicle will operate each Friday from 9am to 2pm.

In order for Adapt to comply with community transport legislation, to use the hopper bus you will need to become a member, which costs £3 per year. The form can be filled out when using the service for the first time. A return fare is £3.

For more information about the scheme, call Adapt North East on 01434 600599.