Dial-a-ride back in business

THE wheels are rolling for a community transport service after it relaunched its vital dial-a-ride service.

Go START, which was set up at the beginning of the year to replace START – Sudbury Town Area Rural Transport – after it closed due to a lack of funding, has reached its first major milestone with the relaunch of the dial-a-ride service two days a week.

The organisation’s long-term aim is to reinstate, and enhance, all the services previously provided by START, which was used by hundreds of pensioners, schoolchildren and people with disabilities.

John Phillips, the group’s founder, said the service could now provide transport for about 25 people a week.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have worked tirelessly to build support for this much-needed community service and we now have two vehicles on the road, which means we can operate the dial-a-ride service two days a week,” he said.

“However, this is just the start and we aim to have the service operating five days a week, along with a range of other community transport services, by the end of the year.”

The Go START objective is to provide a transport service to those who for reasons including age, poor health or living in isolation, are finding they are restricted in their ability to lead a normal life.

Its buses provide access to doctors’ surgeries, shops and leisure facilities.

Mr Phillips added: “To get to this stage in such a short space of time is quite an achievement. We would like to thank the local community for all the support we have received.”

Negotiations for further funding, which would ensure the organisation’s future, are currently at an advanced stage with Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council.

For more information about the dial-a-ride service, which will operate on a Tuesday and Thursday, call 01787 2432116 or email gostart.ct@gmail.com.