End of an era as the Postbus service ends
Saturday marked the end of an era
as the Postbus service made its final journey.
The service, which takes mainly
elderly people from Wormshill, Milstead, Frinsted and Highsted into
Sittingbourne Town Centre twice a day during the week, was run by
Royal Mail and funded by Kent County Council. But Royal Mail
decided to end the contract because it claimed only a small number
of people used it.
All is not lost though as a minibus
will replace the service after Conservative county councillors Mike
Whiting, who represents Swale Central, Keith Ferrin, who represents
Swale West, and Jenny Whittle, who represents Maidstone Rural East,
all agreed to fund the service three days a week using money from
their Members Highways Fund.
Club Taxis in Sittingbourne will
provide the minibus. It will make its first journey tomorrow when
it picks up the first lot of passengers from outside Wormshill post
box at 10.45am. It will then stop outside Frinsted post box at
10.55am, Milstead Village Hall at 11.05am, Highsted Valley post box
at 11.15am, Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital at 11.20am and Mill
Court in Peregrine Drive at 11.25am before making its way to
Central Avenue to drop everyone off.
While the bus can only take eight
passengers at a time it has been agreed that the minibus will go
back for the other passengers after making the first drop off.
The service will run every Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday and the minibus will pick passengers up from
the taxis rank in Central Avenue at 1.45pm and take everyone back
to their homes.
Hazel Stanley, a Frinsted resident
who fought to keep the Postbus running, will manage the first
Cllr Whittle said: "I am delighted
we are able to do this.
"It will cost about £6,300 a year
to run, although it will cost slightly more if the minibus has to
make extra pick ups. We will able to fund it for one year possibly
two but we do need to find a long-term solution so we can get the
service to run five days a week and we are in discussions with bus
companies and working with residents to find that solution."
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