Bus venture’s funding boost

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A COMMUNITY transport service has taken a step towards long-term survival after Suffolk County Council pledged its financial support.

Go START was launched at the beginning of the year to replace the Sudbury Town Area Rural Transport (START) service. It provides transport for hundreds of pensioners, school children and people with disabilities.

Since its launch, Go START has been calling for public support and has been trying to raise funds to provide a comprehensive community transport service.

The organisation has now received a massive boost with Suffolk County Council making a firm commitment to provide financial support.

A letter from Guy McGregor, the county’s portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said: “We are working with Go START, and we are hopeful that there will continue to be a community transport presence in the Sudbury area.

“Some funding has been set aside within the 2011/12 budget to support it.”

The news comes just weeks after the venture opened negotiations with Babergh District Council over further funding possibilities.

Founder John Phillips, pictured right, said: “We are delighted the county council has made this commitment. Although at this stage we do not know the amount involved, any financial support will be gratefully received.”

He added that discussions with Babergh were “progressing well” and the group was hopeful it would have some more positive news in the near future.

“It seems the value of this service is finally receiving the recognition it deserves,” added Mr Phillips.

Go START provides access to doctors’ surgeries, shops and leisure facilities.