Wycombe’s PickMeUp on-demand bus service is set to expand to cover Flackwell Heath.
Introduced by Buckinghamshire Council to reach residents living in parts of the town not serviced by regular bus routes, the service has proved so popular that it is expanding to include Flackwell Heath from Tuesday 29th August 2023.
The service is operated by Carousel Buses and was launched as a pilot in September 2022, soon proving popular with local residents with close to 100 people per day travelling by the end of the first week of service. By December 2022, this had increased to 220 passengers per day and the service continues to attract new passengers, now providing almost 1,500 rides per week.
After reviewing how the service is being used, and in response to requests from the local community, the council and Carousel Buses are pleased to extend the benefits of the Wycombe PickMeUp service to many more potential passengers.
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘Having spotted a gap in regular bus services in some areas of the town and listened to local views, it has been really good to see growing numbers of people embracing the Wycombe PickMeUp as a convenient and greener way to travel. Carousel are enabling us to provide better and more sustainable transport options for High Wycombe and we are pleased to be continuing on the next step with them.‘
Luke Marion, Managing Director of Carousel Buses, said: ‘It is great to be expanding the PickMeUp service even further in Buckinghamshire. Since launching last September, PickMeUp has already benefited thousands of residents, providing them with an efficient, low-carbon, on-demand mode of transport in areas where our main bus routes cannot operate due to location, demand and vehicle size.
The continuing popularity of the service demonstrates the role that demand-responsive transport plays in improving air quality and traffic congestion in the UK. We look forward to serving passengers in Flackwell Heath.‘
The expansion will help improve links from Flackwell Heath to Loudwater, Cressex, Booker and other parts of town where there is no direct bus service. Funded by a three-year, central Government Rural Mobility Fund Grant, the service runs from Monday to Friday from 6.00am to 7.00pm. As part of the route expansion, an additional vehicle will operate at the morning and afternoon peak, to keep up with demand.
Residents can book the bus via a smartphone app or by phone when they need to travel and have it pick them up from a nearby location convenient to them. Journeys can be booked between two points within the area covered by the PickMeUp service.
Fares are in line with other local bus services in the area and all conventional bus tickets such as the Wycombe Smart Zone tickets and Concessionary Bus Passes are valid.
PickMeUp is currently included in the national £2 single bus fare cap until the end of October 2023.
The scheme will launch in Flackwell Heath from Tuesday 29th August 2023. Bookings can be made in advance via app or by phone. Search for PickMeUp High Wycombe on the App Store or Google Play or call 01494 296021.
Further information on the scheme can be found online at www.pickmeupwycombe.co.uk.
*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.