First bus belonging to TRIP set to retire - after clocking up more than 135,000 miles

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 June 2018

The first bus TRIP owned, a 2005 Renault Master.

The first bus TRIP owned, a 2005 Renault Master.

Archant

It has undergone countless journeys transporting thousands of children to schools and adults to shops and important meetings - clocking up more than 135,000 miles in the process.

Now, the first-ever bus owned by TRIP Community Transport Association is officially being retired and sold.

The 2005 Renault Master has been credited for paving the way for the charity to start its own fleet of vehicles - and take a hold of its finances.

Neil Hurlock, manager of TRIP, said: “This bus was so important to TRIP because it enabled us to control our finances and reduce running costs.

“Instead of leasing a vehicle through Devon County Council, we were able to control everything. That was the first step in enabling us to run the fleet that we now do.”

The Renault, which has served TRIP for the last 13 years, was used to take children to school, including youngsters who were confined to a wheelchair.

It also transported users of the service to St Michael’s day care centre, to medical appointments and to and from Pine Park House - sheltered accommodation for adults with special needs.

Mr Hurlock added: “TRIP has been at the forefront in running its own vehicles for many years.

“We were the first organisation in Devon which was able to run its own Ring and Ride bus, rather than using a Devon County Council-leased vehicle.”

In the couple of years, TRIP has been awarded two new accessible mini buses after successfully applying to a community transport fund, launched by the Department for Transport.

In February 2016, the charity revealed it had secured funding from the £25million pot to purchase a new bus.

Months later, the charity was delighted to learn it had been awarded more funding to purchase another £50,000 bus.

Mr Hurlock said TRIP is now gearing up to raise funds to replace the outgoing Renault.

He said: “We need to replace the bus with another same-style vehicle.

“We are going to have to start fundraising over the next year.

“The new vehicle will cost around £30,000.

“Watch this space!”

Anyone who wants to donate to TRIP can visit Mr Hurlock in its New Street-based office or call the team on 01404 46529.

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