Published: Friday, 31st January 2020
Sevenoaks District Council has secured £71,961.98 of funding for a community bus service.
The allocated money will go towards a ‘Go 2’ Demand Responsive Bus Service. ‘Go 2' is part of ‘Go Coach’, Kent’s largest independent bus operator. The Council-raised funding will pay for four public transport vehicles for residents with accessibility problems and will be run in partnership with Go Coach Ltd, Go Taxi Hire Ltd, Age UK (Sevenoaks and Tonbridge) and Sevenoaks District Council.
The buses will help connect communities and go towards preventing social isolation and loneliness, especially for those residents who live in rural communities. The buses will initially run in the Sevenoaks area and, if successful, could be rolled out to other parts of the District.
The money, which was applied for by Go Taxi Hire Ltd, has been raised by the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a charge collected by the Council from home builders on new developments in the District. Money collected by CIL is then used to help part fund important infrastructure projects across the District. The project has strong backing from the local community including number of community representatives, organisations and charities supporting the service.
Sevenoaks District Council Portfolio Holder for Development and Conservation, Cllr Julia Thornton, says “We’re very pleased that we are able to support this amazing project. Looking after our residents’ wellbeing is a huge priority for us and we believe that this new bus service will help people in some of the most isolated parts of our District to feel more included and connected.”
The funding was recommended at a CIL board on Monday 9 December 2019 and approved by Council’s Cabinet on 9 January 2020.
The CIL Spending Board consist of 15 local councillors from across the Sevenoaks District who consider applications for funding submitted by local communities.
The funding becomes available after CIL contributions had been collected on qualifying developments by Sevenoaks District Council.