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Bishop's Stortford Town council offers commuters free trial of Stride and Ride service

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Bus stop behind Thorley Centre, Bishops Stortford. BS Town Council Stride and Ride Bus leaving for the Station. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (10982872)
Bus stop behind Thorley Centre, Bishops Stortford. BS Town Council Stride and Ride Bus leaving for the Station. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (10982872)

A free trial of Bishop's Stortford Town Council's new Stride and Ride service is on offer.

From Monday, June 3, for two weeks, commuters can climb aboard the minibus shuttle from Thorley Park's neighbourhood centre to the train station without paying £17.50 for the weekly ticket or £5 for a day pass and there is no need to pre-book or travel for the whole week.

The authority decided to introduce the taster for travellers at an emergency task and finish group meeting on Wednesday night. That followed and finance and policy committee meeting on Monday where it was revealed just one passenger used the service during its first three weeks of operation and it faced the axe. A 75% occupancy is the target for the initiative to break even.

Cllr David Snowdon, who chaired the latest meeting, said: "Local residents have been telling us that they want to see more public transport options locally. What better way is there for Thorley residents to leave their car at home during their morning commute than to take the Stride and Ride bus service which will be running for free on the week commencing June 3 and week commencing June 10."

Parking at the station costs up to £10 a day and Cllr Snowdon continued "Using stride and ride will mean commuters will not have to pay for parking at the station. It will remove cars from the roads and presents a green alternative, which is good for local air quality."

The 15-seat minibus runs from the back of Sainsbury's, Friedburg Avenue, Thorley Park. There with no further stops until the bus reaches The Three Tuns public house bus stop, at the rear of the train station, closest to the London-bound platform

During the evening, passengers are collected from the front of the station at bus interchange stop E and returned to the rear of Sainsbury's. Pre-booked morning departures are at 6.30am, 6.50am, 7.09am, 7.30am or 7.49am. In the evening, commuters can hop aboard at 5.50pm, 6.15pm, 6.35pm, 6.55pm, 7.15pm, 7.35pm, and 7.50pm, space permitting. If a train is delayed but imminent in the evening, the bus will wait beyond the scheduled departure time if possible.

The town and East Herts district councils have already backed the public transport initiative to the tune of £3,600 each and members of the former's finance and policy committee agreed in principle that a further £4,252 should be used to continue the three-month trial in a "worst case scenario".

For more details see http://www.strideandride.co.uk

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