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  1. ITV Report

Minibus service to make a big difference in rural parishes

Parish Links bus

It might only look small, but this minibus service is going to make a big difference out in Jersey's rural parishes.

Parish Links aims to give people their freedom back, if they no longer drive.

We haven't seen a bus around this area for 35 years and although I do occasionally hear politicians and others bemoaning the fact that we use our cars too much, until there's a comprehensive bus service, people have to have a car to get around, especially oldies like me.

– John Renouf, minibus passenger

Liberty Bus have provided the training and the wheels. Drivers will follow set routes around the back roads of St Mary, St John and St Lawrence and people just need to flag them down.

Volunteer driver, Paul Acton-Phillips is keen for people to join him.

Volunteer driver, Paul Acton-Phillips

I think it's going to be brilliant as long as people use it and it would be a dreadful shame if me and my colleagues were to drive around and around here on our own. That wouldn't be much fun at all, so I'm hoping that we'll get our regular clientele who we'll get to know and also I imagine we'll get some holiday makers and commuters as well.

– Paul Acton-Phillips, volunteer driver

The service will make the villages more accessible and also links up with the main routes in and out of town. In keeping with the island's traditions, the drivers are working on an honorary basis.

Constable Chris Taylor, St John

Teething problems apart, the challenges are to firstly get people using it and secondly to have a good supply of drivers. We've got 16 at the moment, ideally we'd like 20 so we are still looking for a few more drivers, because the more we have the easier it will be to run the service.

– Constable Chris Taylor, St John

The new vehicle is small enough to access the smaller roads on the island, yet can accommodate a customer using a wheelchair on board.

The service operates a “pavement to pavement” service, provided the area is safe to stop the vehicle.

No cash will be taken on board, and to use the service you'll need an AvanchiCard or a concessionary pass.

Fares are the same as on a mainstream bus route and you can transfer to the main bus network with a ParishLink transfer ticket - which means you don't need to pay two single fares to get to your destination.

For more details on the routes, timetables and how to get involved as a driver, click here.