Statement by the Trustees of the Tavistock and District Local Transport Partnership.
From Monday, 5th August 2019, the Tavistock Ring & Ride service will be operated by Westlands Transport.
The TDLTP have run the service for over 20 years, but recent changes to the way the legislation concerning community transport services in general are interpreted, have meant that we are no longer able to continue to do so. We are very pleased that Westlands have been able to step in and take over the day to day operation of the service, meaning that our passengers will continue to be able use this vital community service, and our staff will continue to operate it. The new phone number for the Ring & Ride is: 07939 093232 but the ‘old’ 01822 618028 number will continue to work for the time being.
Community Transport in the UK, has operated for many years using Section 19 & 22 permits, which allowed small, not-for-profit organisations (like the TDLTP) to operate mini-buses to provide transport services to the local community without the need for a full Public Service Vehicle licence. In Devon, these services were overseen by Devon County Council’s Community Transport Team, who provided much of the funding for services like the Ring & Ride to operate. Recently, Community Transport in the UK has been in the spotlight, due to challenges by larger operators to the way in which these services are operated. These challenges are currently under judicial review.
For some time, the TDLTP Trustees have been in discussion with DCC about how our running of the service was going to be affected by these challenges and initially it did look as though there would not be any immediate effect. However, we were very recently advised that due to the way that Section 19 permits were regulated, we would not be able to [legally] continue to operate the service. The Trustees therefore had to make the painful decision to hand back the service to DCC, so that a new operator could take over. Although we are pleased that our passengers, and staff, will continue to see the Ring & Ride Service continue in the area, it is a very sad day for the TDLTP Trustees, who have worked hard (as un-paid volunteers) to organise and run the Ring & Ride for over 20 years. We are closing our office at 65 West Street, Tavistock, and enquiries about the service should now be made on the new telephone number.
The Trustees would like to thank Westlands for taking on the Ring & Ride Service and we wish it good luck for the future.