BURT Rides Again

A fundraising campaign has provided a new minibus for a vital local service.

Bromsgrove Urban and Rural Transport, or BURT, is Bromsgrove's community transport minibus that helps residents of the district who are unable to make essential journeys by conventional transport, either because of personal mobility or disability difficulties or because suitable services are not available.

The service, which is run by local charity Bromsgrove and Redditch Network with support from Bromsgrove District Council, is adapted for wheelchair users and helps people get to dementia clubs, fitness classes for people with disabilities, life-after-stroke sessions, social activities and friendship groups, or sometimes just to enables clients to shop.

The new minibus means the service can now grow to serve more people, and do it better than with the old minibus, which had to be frequently taken out of service for repairs due to its age.

It comes after a year of fundraising in the community.

Gary Roskell, who runs the charity, said: “This will make such a huge difference to so many people. We were overwhelmed by the donations we received from trusts, foundations, and local County Councillors from their Divisional Funds. BURT is more than just a transport service. For our users we’re a lifeline, and it was heartbreaking when we had to cancel journeys because our previous minibus was so unreliable. The feedback from users of the new minibus has been fantastic - it's easier for passengers with mobility issues to get on board, it's more reliable, has a smoother ride, it’s cleaner, and it’s far more efficient. ”

Cllr Margaret Sherrey, Bromsgrove District Councils Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Environmental Services, added: “It’s wonderful that so many people across the district have supported BURT and helped enable this real improvement. After nearly ten years in service it’s clearly important, particularly in rural areas where residents could otherwise become isolated because of the lack of transport that’s suitable for their needs.”

You can find out more about the service and how to volunteer to help run it at www.burtrides.org.uk or phone 01527 585893.