Berwick’s ‘hail and ride’ hoppa bus has only taken about £3,000 in customer fares during its trial run over the summer months.
The figure was revealed at a meeting of Berwick Town Council last week.
Full details of the number of passengers and operating costs are still to be revealed but it is thought a high proportion of users have had a bus pass entitling them to free travel.
Clerk Sue Finch admitted: “The income it has made has been very modest, the majority of its traffic being concessions.
“However, a lot depends on whether it is judged on its monetary value or in a social context.”
The hoppa bus service is funded by Berwick Town Council, helped by a £10,000 grant from the Community Transport Get Going Fund, and operated by Adapt North East.
It started at the end of May and has been run on a trial basis on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays over the summer to see if there is demand. The cost of each trip is £1.10, but is free to concession card holders.
The blue 16-seater currently travels on a loop including Berwick railway station, Berwick Holiday Centre, Castlegate, Marygate, Hide Hill, Bridge Street and across the bridge to Tweedmouth, from where it returns back across to Golden Square and on to the station.
There have been calls, backed by a 300-signature petition collected by Coun Gregah Roughead, for the service to be extended to include Dock Road in Tweedmouth.
A meeting has been held to review what changes might be made to the route, days and times of operation. These need to be considered by the Traffic Commissioners.
“Once we have a response from them we will announce any changes to the current operation,” said Miss Finch.
Meanwhile, Adapt North East is keen to find out how many people in the Berwick and surrounding area would like to use dial-a-ride bus services that pick people up at their door. Please telephone 01289 305232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.