Community Bus Service Consultation

Section Two: For users of the Shopper Hopper community bus service

If we continued to provide this service directly, we would need to subsidise each user by around £22 for each return trip.

The proposed option is for us to stop delivering the service, and to point people to other transport services that are already available for shopping trips.

The table below shows the other options and fares someone might pay for a return trip to a supermarket. The best option for the users will depend on personal choice and needs.

Example cost for a return trip if you live within 1 mile

Service provider

Type of service

Example cost 

WHBC Shopper Hopper

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£5.00

HCC Dial-a-ride

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£4.20

Local volunteer car scheme service

Door to door car service. Some suitable for people with a disability. Charge 60p per mile from driver’s home.

£2.40*

Taxi service suitable for wheelchair

Private taxi hire

Up to £12

* These examples are based on the driver living one mile away.

Example cost for a return trip if you live 3 miles away

Service provider

Type of service

Example cost 

WHBC Shopper Hopper

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£5.00

HCC Dial-a-ride

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£6.20

Local volunteer car scheme service

Door to door car service. Some suitable

for people with a disability. Charge 60p

per mile from driver’s home.

£4.80*

Taxi service suitable for wheelchair

Private taxi hire

Up to £17

* These examples are based on the driver living one mile away.

Example cost for a return trip if you live 5 miles away

Service provider

Type of service

Example cost

WHBC Shopper Hopper

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£5.00

HCC Dial-a-ride

 

Door to door minibus with mobility lift

£8.20

Local volunteer car scheme service

Door to door car service. Some suitable

for people with a disability. Charge 60p

per mile from driver’s home.

£7.20*

Taxi service suitable for wheelchair

Private taxi hire

Up to £24

* These examples are based on the driver living one mile away

Example cost for a return trip with other bus services

Service provider

Type of service

Example cost for a return trip

Intalink partnership between HCC and bus companies

Public bus. Set routes and bus stops. Assistance is provided if necessary.

Older and disabled persons bus pass.

Service is free if you live within the county

Unobus service.

University bus service that is for everyone in the county.

Set routes and bus stops.

£4.80 for a day ticket to travel across Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield

More information about the proposals

Why are we proposing the changes for the Shopper Hopper transport service?

If we continued to provide this service directly, we would need to subsidise each user by around £22 for each return trip

We would also need to buy two new buses. This would cost £160,000 for diesel buses or £240,000 for electric buses, and they would need to be replaced after 12 years.

This means we cannot keep the Shopper Hopper service going without a very large one-off investment, plus an annual subsidy or big price increases. 

 

Is this just about saving money?

No. Any savings would be used to reinvest in other council services, including improving council tenant homes and providing support to community and voluntary organisations

 

What is happening?

We are proposing that the council stops delivering the service directly, and points people to transport services already available for shopping trips.

The main ones are the Dial-a-ride service and a local volunteer car scheme, both funded by HCC. 

 

What is Dial-a-ride?

HCC has been providing the Dial-a-ride service since the 1980s and people in other parts of the county have been using it for many years. 

 

We have discussed with other organisations how a partnership could work.

For the service to provide one bus five days a week, it would cost the council at least £30,000, plus the cost of providing a new bus which is around £80,000 for a diesel bus or £120,000 for an electric bus.

We would also need to think about the future replacement of the bus and where this money would come from. 

As there are already well-established providers who can support transport for shopping trips in the borough, we do not think this offers good value for money.

 

Take part in the community bus consultation

Give us your feedback on the proposal using the online survey.

Complete the online consultation survey