It’s coming up to four weeks of operation now, and it’s really great to see some new faces on the buses. Last week we broke the 500 journeys per week mark, so once again thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement, kind wishes and donations! Please keep spreading the word – every journey counts.
Highlights of the last couple of weeks include:
Our first schools service launched successfully - the 08.00 bus now conveys seven pupils to Wallingford School, bringing them home on the 15.40.
New 133 service on Fridays from Moulsford and Streatley through Goring to Wallingford, is now operating, providing additional 134 journeys at 09.30 and 10.30, so no one should ever be left behind on Fridays! Last week this proved useful in rescuing a passenger who couldn’t get on the 09.15 service, and it is beginning to attract the attention of Moulsford residents. See the website for details of these new services.
The third (back-up) vehicle arrived and is now undergoing a thorough servicing at our friends SB Engineering in Woodcote, who have taken over responsibility for servicing and maintenance of the buses
The lovely Traffic Commissioners in Leeds managed to process our application to change the timetable so that we can run through the village on the west side of the railway in super quick time – more about that below
We said goodbye to the GoRide logos on the blue bus, and are in the process of affixing the Going Forward logos instead!
Don’t forget that our services coming back from Wallingford now all pass by the Community Hospital, so no need to change buses in the Market Place – most journeys operate in a loop and you don’t even need to get off the bus.
Our new route through the village:
Most services into Goring now run through Goring village, via the Surgery, Library, Manor Road, Thames Road (for The Swan and Streatley) and Glebe Ride. It was expected this would be introduced from mid-March but the Traffic Commissioners managed to process the application in a week rather than the usual 28 days! So we’re already using the new route, and we are also running up to the top of Lockstile Way and down Milldown Avenue (instead of along Lockstile Mead). Timings haven’t changed, we just arrive at the station forecourt a little later than before, but because we pass by the Station Road entrance to the station you can always alight there if you’re in a hurry for the train.
Don’t forget the Special Offers – and there’s some new ones too!
Child fares apply to everyone after 16.00 – hop on the 16.15 or 17.15 from Goring station to Lockstile Way, Cleeve or anywhere as far as Spring Farm for just £1, South Stoke & North Stoke for £1.50 and Wallingford £2.
There’s also a family fare offer of £4 single for one adult and up to two children after 11.00 (but not on the 15.40 from Wallingford on schooldays).
New: Pay one Way – if you’ve got a valid Railcard (e.g. Young People’s, Family or Network Card) you can buy an adult single and travel back for free on the same day.
New: For Wallingford School pupils who don’t have a Bus Pass, you can buy a One Week School Pass for just £12 from South Stoke or £16 from Goring, giving up to five days travel in the same week on the 08.00 Goring and 15.30 to/from Wallingford School. We set down and pick up at the school gates!
Plans for the future
More 133 services via Streatley and Moulsford, with possible extension to Shillingford, picturesque Dorchester and (not so picturesque) Berinsfield. Watch this space for how we’re going forward with this.
Better waiting facilities at the station: negotiations ongoing with GWR over providing a bench on the station forecourt – the Parish and County Councils have approved so we’re just waiting for a response from GWR now.
10% off if you travel by bus to the Perch & Pike restaurant/pub in South Stoke - see our website for details!
More special deals are already being worked on - if anyone has any suggestions please let us know.
Please check the website goingforwardbuses.com , where you will find details of all services, deals and a competition to name the buses!
Thank you for all your support and encouragement so far. Every journey counts! And please don't forget to leave any feedback through facebook or email that will help to improve the service in the future. It's there for you, so any suggestions for how it can better meet your needs will always be carefully considered.
Facebook.com/goingforwardbus email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re still looking for drivers!
Going Forward Buses is looking for people who might be available to fill in for our regular drivers during:
(a) pre-planned leave or absence
(b) sickness or sudden other unforseen absence
(c) breakdowns when someone to drive the backup vehicle is required.
Of course, for (b) and (c) it is not easy for people to suddenly be available to cover such events, but if there are a few people on a list who could be contacted in an 'emergency' then hopefully one of them might be able to help.
GFB is hoping to be able to operate other services in the locality too, but this will be dependant on finding drivers who would be willing to make a regular commitment. This could include more 133 services, or a new route serving Whitchurch Hill, Cray's Pond and Goring Heath to replace the current Thames Travel service that is under threat. There is also the possibility of occasional excursions, e.g. to Greys Court, Nuffield Park and Basildon Park/Beale Park, or other local destinations if people are interested; charter journeys; and services in conjunction with local events such as the Regatta.
Who can drive the minibuses?
As the vehicles are certified for 16 or fewer passenger seats and are operated under what is known as a Section 22 permit, they can be driven by those holding a category D1 licence. Category D1 licences should already be held by all those holding a normal car licence prior to 1997, but this will expire when they reach 70 years old. The process to retain the minibus entitlement involves passing a medical to PCV standard. The driver has to complete a D2 form (Application for Lorry, Bus or Minibus driving licence) and also get their doctor to complete a D4 (Medical Examination Report). Both the D2 and D4 then have to be sent to the DVLA to enable them to renew the driving licence. This process has to be repeated every 3 years.
The doctors at Goring Surgery have advised us that the fee for obtaining the medical report is £180 and unfortunately they say they cannot reduce it. The examination itself should take no more than 30 minutes. Going Forward Buses would pay any doctors’ or DVLA fees charged to get the D1 licence if necessary. Although the cost may seem high, the bus service might not be as reliable as we want it to be if we don’t have enough drivers.
Is there any remuneration?
Any voluntary effort would be very much appreciated to keep costs to a minimum; however GFB recognises that in order to make the service as reliable as possible we may need to offer remuneration and will be happy to discuss this further with anyone who is interested.
If you’d like to know more (without any obligation!) please contact us by email on email@example.com or phone on 07484 605888. Hope to hear from you soon!
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