Wycombe residents will soon be able to book a bus
Buckinghamshire Council and Carousel Buses are launching a new ‘demand responsive transport’ (DRT) service in and around High Wycombe. Described as a cross between a bus and taxi service, the new DRT service comes as part of a pilot scheme funded by the Government’s Rural Mobility Fund. The new service will run for the next 3 years, with scope to run for longer if the pilot is successful.
The High Wycombe DRT pilot is set to launch from 27 September, with an Aylesbury pilot launching later in the autumn.
Sitting under Carousel’s ‘PickMeUp’ brand, the Wycombe pilot will serve several communities, including Booker, Daws Hill, Wooburn Green, Wycombe Marsh, Loudwater and Downley. These either have a limited bus service or a route which only serves part of the community. The PickMeUp service will also improve access to areas with steeper gradients.
Users will be able to book one of the five fully accessible minibuses to collect them either directly from their home, or from one of the 500+ pickup points – also known as ‘virtual bus stops’ – out and about in the local area. Ideal for those who may not have access to a bus stop either by their home, or a service that operates direct to their desired destination, the DRT service is quick and easy to use for commuters, students, and people with accessibility issues.
Thanks to the technology in the PickMeUp app, users can really break free of the rigid structure of traditional bus timetables and have the buses work around them instead – arriving only when required and from a wider range of pick-up points.
Buses can be booked in advance of a trip via the app, through which you can also pay for your ticket and track your bus in real time. Those without access to the app can book over the phone 01494 296021. Buses can be booked in advance, or on the day of travel, and will run from Monday to Friday, 6am-7pm.
Journeys will only cost a little more than a local bus service – between £2 and £3.50 per trip depending on distance travelled. Concessionary bus passes will be accepted for free travel.
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
“I’m excited that we’re able to introduce this fantastic pilot scheme to the High Wycombe area. While there is a comprehensive existing bus network in High Wycombe, there are some areas the main buses can’t serve, due to location, demand for the bus, or the size of the vehicle. Introducing this DRT service will help those who cannot make use of our existing bus services.
“Journeys using the new service will be convenient and affordable for commuters, people getting to college, the hospital, or those who just want to visit the shops.”
Luke Marion, Carousel Buses Interim Managing Director, said:
"We are proud to be the delivery partner for this innovative service that will provide passengers with an easy, flexible and affordable way to travel that will help reduce congestion and pollution.
"We bring a lot of experience to this exciting pilot scheme having previously launched PickMeUp in Oxford via our sister company and look forward to delivering increased sustainable travel choices to High Wycombe.
"This has been made possible thanks to Buckinghamshire Council securing vital funding and embracing the technology and modern transport solutions we can deliver. I hope the introduction of demand responsive technology will help encourage more people to reduce their use of private vehicles in the area."
For more information and to book your first journey – once the PickMeUp app goes live this weekend – please visit the PickMeUp Wycombe website.