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Lyme Regis town bus service proves vital to passengers

A REINSTATED Lyme Regis bus service is proving ‘vital’ to its passengers during its first month of operation.

The 71 town bus was saved by Lyme Regis Town Council after the service was scrapped in July.

The town council provided a temporary ring and ride service for the summer, but regular passengers are pleased to see the familiar town bus back on the road.

The council has agreed a three-year contract with Damory Go South Coast, operating Monday to Friday on the same route as the previous service 71.

Doreen Pickford, 82, is one of the most familiar faces on the town bus and even considered moving out of Lyme Regis when the service was cancelled.

She said: I’m so pleased it’s back. It’s a real community on the bus and we all missed each other during the month the bus wasn’t running.

“I do all my own shopping and I couldn’t manage without the town bus.”

Fiona Blackmore, 71, relies on the bus as she no longer has a car.

She said: “It’s vital to me and to a lot of older people who struggle to get up the town. It’s vital for this community.”

Anne Thirlwell, 85, who uses the bus nearly every day, said: “This service is very important and very convenient. Life would be a lot harder for me without it.”

The town bus also provides an essential link to the town’s two medical practices, something Adrian Robinson, 55, is particularly grateful for.

He said: “It’s the only link we have so it’s crucial for us to get there, especially as it stops on the pavement outside, not on the opposite side of the road.”

The service is also helping older people to keep fit, including Bob Kendrick, 80, who catches the bus to Woodroffe School and walks back home.

He said: “It’s a very important service to everybody in the town, especially the estates.”

Clive Williams, 72, catches the bus into town and walks along the seafront to the Cobb. He said: “Older people contribute a lot to Lyme Regis so it’s a bit of pay back to the old timers.”

But it’s not just older people who benefit from the town bus.

Emma Blackmore uses the bus regularly with her son Harley, four, and daughter Eleanor, two.

She said: “It’s a fantastic service for the elderly, disabled and young of this town.”

Pam Kaxe, 85, has thanked the town council for reinstating the town bus. She said: “We are very grateful to the council for this bus service.”

Cllr Cheryl Reynolds, chairman of the council’s Tourism, Community and Publicity Committee, said: “The council is delighted it was able to save the town bus service for the benefit of the community.

“Although it is not the town council’s responsibility to provide bus services, there was full support from the whole council to commit funding for the next three years in recognition of how essential this service is in the town.

“It’s good to see the bus is being well used and to hear about how much the service is benefitting the passengers. It’s clear this was money well spent.”