Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Grass Routes are a winner in Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire’s Grass Routes bus service has won 'Operator of the Year' in the Community Transport Association (Wales) annual awards.

One of the founders of the service and driver of one of the buses also won in the 'Volunteer of the Year' category.

Submissions were judged by an expert panel who felt the Grass Routes service has made a tangible difference to the lives of those who use the service.

Founded in September 2004 Monmouthshire’s Grass Routes provides low floor vehicles that transport people over the whole of the county and some neighbouring authorities.

The Grass Routes service has around 2,500 passengers per month and covers 840 square kilometres of rural

This is now considered to be a lifeline to the current members who have accessibility difficulties or limited services.

Richard Cope,
Monmouthshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Unit Manager, said:

“We respond to demand and we’re very flexible in order to meet people’s needs.

“This service has changed the whole perspective of rural bus services and has given the users of this service a lifeline to accessing public services. It is the only service in Wales run on a Section 22 Community Bus Permit and registered as a flexible bus route so is totally unique in its operation.

“The buses run to places like large shopping areas; supermarkets; dentists; hospital appointment; and churches.

“We have had tremendous comments on this service from all our members and we have comment cards to prove the value of this service.

“Residents of
Monmouthshire have had their independence returned and also enjoy the social interaction of travelling on our vehicles.

“Members of the community are involved themselves in the success story of Grass Routes as the service relies on volunteer drivers to guarantee a service every day, and members of the community work in partnership on a voluntary basis with the authority as a management board for the scheme.

Of ‘Volunteer of the Year, Trevor Phillips, Richard Cope said:

“Trevor has been involved with Grass Routes from the first day. He identified a large gap in the needs of the community and put forward a proposition to
Monmouthshire County Council to for a community service.

"He was instrumental in the process of applying for funding for the first bus to be bought.

"Trevor has been on the Grass Routes partnership board from the beginning and is still a very active member of this board.

"He drives the bus every week on a Thursday and has built up a great rapport with his regular passengers .Trevor also drives groups on outings and takes an active interest in all areas of community work volunteering.

“Trevor is what volunteering is all about and he has made a big difference to the lives of many people in

“He is an integral part in what has become a very successful community transport scheme.”


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |