People living in or travelling to Staffordshire Moorlands will benefit from a new bus service serving the area.
Moorlands Connect is being provided by The Ashbourne Little Bus Company and will provide a demand responsive service operating between Ashbourne, Buxton and Leek. The service will allow people to pre-book journeys from pick up points in their local area to connect with existing scheduled local bus services for onward travel into the local towns. Operating hours will include early mornings and evening journeys, Saturday and Sunday journeys from March to September.
Three buses will be in operation and a new App will allow people to book journeys, buy tickets and track services. Cycle racks are also being provided on each bus, opening up the service to visitors to the area and enabling them to access walking, climbing and cycling opportunities.
David Williams, Cabinet member for Transport and Highways at Staffordshire County Council said: “This is great news for people in the Staffordshire Moorlands who rely on public transport.
“The new service means people will be able to travel between the main towns and villages in the Moorlands as well as being better connected to the existing commercial bus network. The new App will also make it easier for people to plan their journey better, buy their ticket and even track the buses in real time.
“By encouraging more people to access public transport, the number of cars will be reduced which will have a positive environmental impact on the area. The new service will also help improve people’s access to jobs and learning, improve their wellbeing and reduce the risks of social isolation. I would encourage people to use the service, the more passengers that use it, the more sustainable the service will become.”
The service is operated by The Ashbourne Little Bus Company, which is part of Ashbourne Community Transport (ACT).
Pat Laughlin, a Director at Ashbourne Community Transport, said: “The company is pleased to continue to provide this valuable service to the community in Staffordshire Moorlands.
“Moorlands Connect is a lifeline for many residents, helping them access work, education and leisure activity and to maintain independent living in this rural area. This will help both the environment and the economy, providing car free travel to local centres and visitor attractions across the Peak District.”
A new booking system for the service has also been developed allowing passengers the choice to either book directly with the Moorlands Connect team by telephone or by using the new Moorlands Connect app.
The service is being funded by the Department for Transport Rural Mobility Fund.
People can find out more about the service at https://moorlandsconnect.co.uk.