Vital transport link is just the ticket

New ring and ride bus officially launched.

TRIP Community Transport Association supporters were out in force for the unveiling of a new ring and ride bus - helping to provide a vital lifeline for the people of Honiton and the surrounding areas.

The bus, which has taken four-years of fund-raising to come to fruition, was launched by Devon County Councillor and leader of East Devon District Council, Councillor Paul Diviani, in a special ceremony outside St Paul’s Church.

He was joined by fellow TRIP users as well as Honiton Town and district council chairman, Councillor Peter Halse, county councillor Sara Randall-Johnson, district councillors Phil Twiss, Stephanie Jones and John O’Leary.

The chairman of TRIP, Val Royle, said: “We are very proud of the new bus and hope that it serves the community.”

The midnight blue bus seats 15 people and is fitted with customised seating, an extra wide tail lift and room for wheelchairs and mobility aids.

Fund-raisers had to raise �53,000 for the bus which joins the charity’s existing fleet of mini-buses.

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Councillor Diviani added: “It is a wonderful addition to the fleet.

“To know it is there is very useful and will provide a lot of comfort for people.”

The customisation work on the vehicle was also kept in the local area and was carried out by Tiverton-based firm Courtside Conversions.

The new bus was recently put through its paces during its first excursion to Falmouth and has been welcomed by passengers.

Joan Plastow, 80, a regular TRIP user, said: “The new bus is brilliant - it really couldn’t be better. TRIP provide a brilliant service and the staff and drivers are fantastic.

“I really depend on the service and it’s a shame it is not used by more people.”

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