Dartmoor villagers urged to use community bus

Newton Abbot community bus
Image caption The bus takes passengers door to door

Dartmoor villagers are being encouraged to use a new community bus which has replaced a service axed because of council cuts.

The ring and ride service, which runs on Fridays, is being operated by the Newton Abbot Community Bus organisation.

But so far only six people have registered to use the service which takes them door-to-door.

The operators have told BBC News that it needs more users to remain viable.

Dafydd Ap Gwilym, from Newton Abbott Community Bus, said: "As a charity we're self-funding.

"We can only provide transport if it pays and at the moment it's a bit tight."

He said the service was a "lifeline" for the people that use it.

Budget cuts

Jenny Sims, from Scorriton, said: "If I didn't have a bus like this I'd have to move.

"I couldn't exist up here any more because we've lost all our facilities."

People sign up to use the bus service and then are charged £3.80 return.

The bus travels between Newton Abbot, Holne, Scorriton, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.

The local bus operator, Country Bus, used to run two bus services a week to the south Dartmoor area covered by the community bus.

But it lost a county council grant and now only runs one service a week.

Devon County Council cut £1.3m from its bus budget in the wake of government spending cuts.

The government is also cutting the Bus Service Operators' Grant by 20% from April next year.

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