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Melksham community bus wins award for innovation

MELKSHAM Community bus service has been recognised as the most innovative community transport group in the region by Community First. 

The community bus service in Melksham whose official title is M.C.C.S (Melksham Council of Community Service) was first established in 1986.  Initially the service only had one small mini-bus and was set up to help local residents including the elderly and disabled attend clubs, shopping trips, excursions and medical appointments.

Since then, the group has continued to grow as it has been a valuable service to many in the community and now has four buses ranging from a 14-seater to a 28-seater and all with disabled access. The group, which is a registered charity, transports over 20,000 passengers a year covering 35,000 miles taking passengers door-to-door to surrounding towns and villages, with transport available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

The service has been recognised for its expansion of services as it is currently the only community transport group in Wiltshire to operate a vehicle over 16 seats and they are also the only group to have created a link with their local tourist information centre to advertise and book services.

The award is the first time the group has won the award since it was established 27 years ago.

Transport manager and co-ordinator for the group George Brown said, “We are very proud to have won this award. It is recognition of the hard work.”

The Community Bus service is running Christmas shopping trips. The trips are open to everybody and give people the opportunity to visit local towns in the run up to Christmas. They all leave around 9.00am and return after spending about 4 hours at their destination.

Trips will be made to the following destinations; Wednesday 30th October to Wilton and Dents Factory shop; Saturday 2nd November to Clarks Village in Street; Saturday 16th November to Gloucester Quays and town; Tuesday 19th November to Cribbs Causeway shopping centre; Saturday 7th December to Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, Portsmouth; Saturday 14th December to Salisbury.

For more information or to book the bus contact Melksham Tourist Information Centre on 01225 707424.