At the Rye & District Community Transport AGM last Thursday, October 17, chairman Barry Nealon reviewed developments during the last financial year.
Firstly, in terms of passenger numbers, the 326 bus service, through its loyal volunteers, had met its community obligations with 22,782 passenger journeys in the year, while Dial-a Ride provided effective transport for 2,300 frail and elderly passengers.
Forty eight children were taken to and from Homewood School in Tenterden every school day, and group transport services were again in demand for clubs’ and organisations’ outings mainly in the evenings or at weekends.
Since the start of this financial year, two of the bus fleet have been replaced. However, said Barry Nealon, “in terms of drivers we are one short for our paid drivers and could do with at least two more volunteer drivers.”
Because of restrictions imposed under the charity’s operating licences, the full costs of running the community bus service cannot be covered by passenger fares. There is therefore a gap of about £25,000 between fare income and costs each year, for which energetic fund-raising is required.
Last year, this was successfully accomplished thanks to grants and donations from the Wind Farm, the Friends of Rye Hospital, Rye Town Council, the Rye Fund, the Rye Community Shop, and Icklesham Parish Council and others.
Since the financial year end, the charity’s reserves have received an injection of substantial funding from East Sussex County Council, but continuing financial support from the community remains vital.
Barry Nealon, Michael Miller and Kate Sims were duly re-elected as directors, as was Ian Foster who takes over from your correspondent on his retirement as director and secretary.
Image Credits: Rye and District Community Transport .