07:00 Monday 01 April 2013

No busman's holiday for Stortford councillor

Written bySINEAD HOLLAND

STORTFORD councillor John Barfoot proved he is on board the Stortbus project by volunteering as a driver for the day.

The Herts county member for the town’s East Ward normally spend his working days in charge of his own business, Copyzone Ltd at the Southmill Trading Centre, but headed out on the road to highlight the community service and encourage others to volunteer and get behind the wheel.

Cllr Barfoot said: “When I was asked to drive Stortbus for a day I jumped at the chance for a day out of the office.”

However he soon learned driving the bus was no walk in the park: “Firstly, the drivers really earn their keep! It is a very hard day’s work, but really rewarding.”

“It should be called the Friendly Bus as all the passengers chat to each other and enjoy themselves. If you have never used Stortbus, please do.

“It is a local bus for local people running between the hospital, town centre, Havers, Thorley and Parsonage.

“Stop the bus anywhere on the route by putting your hand out.”

The Stortbus scheme, run by the Bishop’s Stortford Minibus Trust, was launched in June last year to enable people to travel around the town more easily and the service was improved even further in November with a new timetable and extended route.

The bus runs on two routes from Monday to Friday, between 8am and 4pm and connects the Havers, Thorley and Parsonage Lane estates to the town centre and the Herts and Essex Hospital.

The project is sponsored by Herts County Council, Sawbridgeworth-based care company Home Instead and Bridge Street store, Coopers of Stortford.

It operates on a request basis where passengers put their hand out for it to stop and tell the driver where they would like to get off. Fares are £1.50 for a single journey or £2 for an all-day hopper ticket and children travel for half price.

A leaflet with full details of the new routes and times is available at the Tourist Information Centre in Market Square, the Bishop’s Stortford Town Council offices in Windhill, the library in the Causeway and online at www.bishopsstortford.gov.uk/stortbus

Or for information about times and routes call Anne Shirley 01279 712146 at the town council office.

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