Donations roll in for new bus service

SUPPORT for a vital community transport service used by hundreds of pensioners, schoolchildren and people with disabilities is growing as donations to the scheme continue to roll in.

Go START was launched in January to replace the Sudbury Town Area Rural Transport (START) service, which was forced to close due to a lack of funding.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury has given £200 to the new venture, while Long Melford business group Networking 4 Breakfast has donated a further £250.

Andy Stopps, chairman of the networking group, which meets every other Tuesday at the Crown Hotel in Long Melford, said: “We took a vote and decided we would support Go START as our charity for the year.

“It is an invaluable service which supports such a diverse range of groups in the area.

“We have to do all we can to support this service as it provides vital transport for people aged from 18 to 80.”

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

Its buses provide access to doctors’ surgeries, shopping, leisure facilities and public services.

Sudbury Town Council, Suffolk ACRE, Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and crime writer Ruth Rendell have all backed the initiative.

Negotiations for funding are currently ongoing with Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council.

Go START founder John Phillips said: “We are delighted to have received these donations, for which we are very grateful.

The entire community is slowly getting behind Go START, which indicates how highly the transport services we provide are valued.”