A community group is bidding to create its own bus service to plug the gap left behind by cuts.
Following the withdrawal of the ‘essential’ Saturday service for Cellan’s 585 bus, a campaign group has been working towards finding alternative methods of providing bus services to the village’s residents over the weekend.
The 585 campaigners applied for a grant to fund what they call a looped transport service.
Although they will have to wait for two weeks to hear if the grant application is successful, the group has already begun preparing an open day on 16 November to draw attention to the service.
They will also be posting questionnaires on social media and leafleting in the hope of hearing local people’s thoughts and needs of a Saturday service.
People will feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven when they hear there is a bus running on Saturdays.
Christine Lambert, 585 Campaign Group
The service, if it goes ahead, would see buses capable of carrying up to eight passengers, running in a loop between Llanfair y Clydogau, Cellan and Lampeter.
The aim is to offer an hourly service from 8am to 6pm, though the group is open to changing this based on the demand during Saturdays. For example, they may reduce services during quieter times of the day.
Funding for the community-run bus is being sourced by Llanfair Clydogau and Cellan Community Council, who have applied for a grant from the Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations under their small grants scheme.
585 Campaign Group member Christine Lambert said: “With the sudden withdrawal of the essential 585 Saturday service, we are now exploring the feasibility of a community transport scheme providing an alternative Saturday service.
“People in Cellan will feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven when they hear there is a bus service running on Saturdays.
“People would get to go to Lampeter, go to hospital; children could work part-time jobs or attend sports events, or just meet up with friends, without needing to get a lift there and back from their parents.
“It would also link us up to services such as the T1 and open up more areas for people to go to.”
The loop would be nine miles altogether and the group estimates it will cost 80p per mile to run.
However, that relies on the group finding voluntary drivers for the service.
The group has already made headway in securing access to a bus, as well as ensuring both training and insurance is made available to cover any volunteer bus drivers.
All of this will be provided by the non-profit community transport charity, Dolen Teifi.
A representative for Dolen Teifi, and the 585 group’s contact in the organisation, Rod Bowen, said: “We’re working with the group to provide a community-led solution to transport in the Cellan area.
“We have 25 vehicles in our fleet which all serve different kinds of transport schemes.
“The Cellan service is unique, it’s led by a group of people who are dedicated to resolving issues with transport that they are facing.
“It’s about plugging the gaps in transport services through community-led initiatives.”