Taxi firm steps in to provide a commuter shuttle service

Dorset Echo: ALL ABOARD: Martinstown resident Cath Wilson, left, catches the A-line ‘bus’ with Charlotte White, proprietor, and driver Damon Clarke ALL ABOARD: Martinstown resident Cath Wilson, left, catches the A-line ‘bus’ with Charlotte White, proprietor, and driver Damon Clarke

A DORCHESTER taxi firm will put on a special bus shuttle service between Martinstown and Dorchester to help residents affected by the withdrawal of the 31 service.

Residents of Martinstown have been incensed at the withdrawal of the 31 bus by First Dorset, which now sees the bus renamed to the X31 and travel through the village twice a day instead of hourly.

More than 200 people turned out to protest the changes last month, which was also attended by local MP Oliver Letwin.

Now, Dorchester taxi company A-Line Taxis will put on a special service between Martinstown and Dorchester on a Monday and Friday.

Charlotte White, the owner of A-Line Taxis, said: “One of our drivers has been speaking to one of our long-term customers and they had been complaining about the bus cuts.

“She has been talking with the local residents and they all came to the conclusion that a service at these times would be beneficial.”

The shuttle service will be an eight-seater minibus and will collect people from Martinstown Village Hall at 10.15am on Mondays and Fridays, take them to Dorchester and drop them off by the firm’s headquarters on Trinity Street.

It will then take people back to Martinstown at 1pm and 2.45pm. The company will charge £1.50 each way and seats will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

Mrs White said the company was trialling the service without any local government subsidy, but would only continue to provide the service as long as the demand was there.

She added: “It is a massive local issue, gaining support from Oliver Letwin MP, so we are just trying to help out any way we can.

“This is a trail run so we will see how it goes. If the demand from the people of Martinstown is there to use it, we will then look to expand the service. But if the demand is not there during the trial we will stop it.”

Jon Walker, from Martinstown, set up the online petition against the bus cuts which has attracted more than 400 signatures.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea that the firm will put on this service. It sounds like a good idea and it’s a very nice gesture from the taxi company to put this on.

“The fare is infinitely cheaper than hiring a taxi for one person which is reasonable from them and it just shows that the villagers and others are not going down without a fight when it comes to losing the 31.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:06pm Sat 7 Jun 14

westbaywonder says...

No citizens were offered a lift from Maggie in the Mercedes then.
Be nice to help out the citizens at the bottom of the hill.
No citizens were offered a lift from Maggie in the Mercedes then. Be nice to help out the citizens at the bottom of the hill. westbaywonder
  • Score: -8

3:08pm Sat 7 Jun 14

NinjaNewsman says...

so bus cant run just at 1pm and 2.45pm then
so bus cant run just at 1pm and 2.45pm then NinjaNewsman
  • Score: 1

5:55pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Rocksalt says...

It's a massive issue for a small number of people directly affected, judging by the caution of the taxi firm in terms of the size of vehicle and frequency of service.
It's a massive issue for a small number of people directly affected, judging by the caution of the taxi firm in terms of the size of vehicle and frequency of service. Rocksalt
  • Score: 2

11:45pm Sat 7 Jun 14

SouthWestBuses says...

If this taxi is being run by the taxi firm without it being hired in the normal way then it amounts to being operated as a public service especially as its selling 'tickets' or 'spaces' on a first come first served basis like a bus.
This being the case then it should be looked at by the Traffic Commisioner and its legality examined - it may well be deemed to come within the requirements of the formal application and licencing proceedure. The implications of the insurance of the vehicle as a taxi is also called into question if the 'service' is being offered without normal taxi hire procedures.
It might seem a good idea but there are other considerations to think about.
If this taxi is being run by the taxi firm without it being hired in the normal way then it amounts to being operated as a public service especially as its selling 'tickets' or 'spaces' on a first come first served basis like a bus. This being the case then it should be looked at by the Traffic Commisioner and its legality examined - it may well be deemed to come within the requirements of the formal application and licencing proceedure. The implications of the insurance of the vehicle as a taxi is also called into question if the 'service' is being offered without normal taxi hire procedures. It might seem a good idea but there are other considerations to think about. SouthWestBuses
  • Score: -2

1:05am Sun 8 Jun 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

If South West Buses are so concerned then let them offer an alternative service
If South West Buses are so concerned then let them offer an alternative service Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 3

11:11am Mon 9 Jun 14

nuber says...

It's not just the residents of Martinstown that are affected, what about the residents of Winterbourne Steepleton?!
It's not just the residents of Martinstown that are affected, what about the residents of Winterbourne Steepleton?! nuber
  • Score: 0

11:18am Mon 9 Jun 14

elloello1980 says...

SouthWestBuses wrote:
If this taxi is being run by the taxi firm without it being hired in the normal way then it amounts to being operated as a public service especially as its selling 'tickets' or 'spaces' on a first come first served basis like a bus.
This being the case then it should be looked at by the Traffic Commisioner and its legality examined - it may well be deemed to come within the requirements of the formal application and licencing proceedure. The implications of the insurance of the vehicle as a taxi is also called into question if the 'service' is being offered without normal taxi hire procedures.
It might seem a good idea but there are other considerations to think about.
what a jobsworth we have here!
[quote][p][bold]SouthWestBuses[/bold] wrote: If this taxi is being run by the taxi firm without it being hired in the normal way then it amounts to being operated as a public service especially as its selling 'tickets' or 'spaces' on a first come first served basis like a bus. This being the case then it should be looked at by the Traffic Commisioner and its legality examined - it may well be deemed to come within the requirements of the formal application and licencing proceedure. The implications of the insurance of the vehicle as a taxi is also called into question if the 'service' is being offered without normal taxi hire procedures. It might seem a good idea but there are other considerations to think about.[/p][/quote]what a jobsworth we have here! elloello1980
  • Score: 2

2:32pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Fich 26 says...

westbaywonder wrote:
No citizens were offered a lift from Maggie in the Mercedes then.
Be nice to help out the citizens at the bottom of the hill.
What a stupid comment to make. Totally unhelpful and factually incorrect. Maggie is more likely to have a mini than a mercedes !
On a serious note, the residents of the Winterborne valley are demographically older rather than younger which tends to mean they no longer drive. As such they also have Government National Bus passes which are of little use now there are no buses running through the villages.As for the citizens at the "Bottom of the Hill" where is he talking about? If you cant post something useful wonderless Westbay then do us all a favour and keep your "poor little me " comments to yourself.
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: No citizens were offered a lift from Maggie in the Mercedes then. Be nice to help out the citizens at the bottom of the hill.[/p][/quote]What a stupid comment to make. Totally unhelpful and factually incorrect. Maggie is more likely to have a mini than a mercedes ! On a serious note, the residents of the Winterborne valley are demographically older rather than younger which tends to mean they no longer drive. As such they also have Government National Bus passes which are of little use now there are no buses running through the villages.As for the citizens at the "Bottom of the Hill" where is he talking about? If you cant post something useful wonderless Westbay then do us all a favour and keep your "poor little me " comments to yourself. Fich 26
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Fich 26 says...

nuber wrote:
It's not just the residents of Martinstown that are affected, what about the residents of Winterbourne Steepleton?!
Shout Louder then you'll be heard ! The residents of Steepleton are welcome to join forces with Martinstown residents who are actively petitioning. You aren't being left out it's just that the main petition originates out of Martinstown so all the media coverage focuses from there.
Want to get involved? let Emily know in Martinstown village shop of your details or better still organise a representative group and tell Emily your contact details.
The more the merrier as the saying goes, which is more than I can say for the buses running through the two villages. :(
[quote][p][bold]nuber[/bold] wrote: It's not just the residents of Martinstown that are affected, what about the residents of Winterbourne Steepleton?![/p][/quote]Shout Louder then you'll be heard ! The residents of Steepleton are welcome to join forces with Martinstown residents who are actively petitioning. You aren't being left out it's just that the main petition originates out of Martinstown so all the media coverage focuses from there. Want to get involved? let Emily know in Martinstown village shop of your details or better still organise a representative group and tell Emily your contact details. The more the merrier as the saying goes, which is more than I can say for the buses running through the two villages. :( Fich 26
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree