Residents of Leighton-Linslade are rejoicing, as it is revealed that the town’s beloved Buzzer Buses has been saved!
The service had been experiencing problems for nearly two years, as the LBO learned in August that Buzzer Buses (Dial-a-Ride) Ltd had been unsuccessful in the tender process for funding from Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC), because as part of its Passenger Transport Strategy, the way CBC funded dial-a-ride services was changed from grant payment to competitive tender in 2016.
Determined to carry on and support its elderly and disabled passengers, Buzzer Buses upped its costs in September and reapplied for funding, but informed the LBO in February that it had again been unsuccessful, waiting to confirm its closing date.
However, after a period of silence, with residents feeling upset that such an important service was to end, Buzzer Buses contacted the LBO with some exciting news.
Matt Gale, General Manager, said: “Buzzer Buses is extremely pleased to announce that after two years of uncertainty we can confirm that we have now been awarded the contract to continue operating the Dial-a-Ride service for Leighton Buzzard, Woburn and the Bedfordshire villages in between. This means that we will be able to continue offering all of the services that we have done in the past.
“Any new members will be more than welcome to join and current members can look forward to our buses running as usual. We will also continue to run our popular weekly outings to various garden centres, pubs and other places of interest. If you have any requests for destinations then please call us and we will do our best to add them to our itinerary.”
A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman, explained: “During the procurement process issues were raised by some of the bidders and so in order to be fair and transparent, Central Bedfordshire Council decided to re-run the procurement.
“The process is now complete and we are pleased to confirm that a new contract has been awarded to Buzzer Buses to provide Dial-a-Ride services in the Leighton Buzzard area.
“This service is vital to elderly and disabled residents and others who are unable to use scheduled bus services and we look forward to working with Buzzer to build on the excellent service they have provided over many years.
“Following the adoption of the new passenger transport strategy in November 2016, Central Bedfordshire Council will in future be funding Dial-a-Ride services through tendered contracts rather than through annual grants as was the case previously: the new contract in the Leighton Buzzard area has been awarded until August 2021. This will give certainty to residents that the service will be available for many years to come.”
Buzzer Buses serve those who need transport due to age, sickness, disability and operates a door to door service.
To contact Buzzer Buses: 01525 853566; firstname.lastname@example.org