As we draw towards the end of yet another year it is so rewarding to look back and see, once again, just how much we have achieved. The last twelve months seem to have flown by, one minute we are planning for the New Year and the next we are getting ready for Christmas Dinner.
It has however, been a year of change; we have been awarded new contracts through Surrey County Council, surrendered others, and experienced the ending of the Frimley Park Hospital pilot.
Our service into the Bedser Hub has grown throughout the year, and we are now transporting patients to two new hubs at Walton and Ashford. Due to this increase, we have teamed up with Elmbridge Borough Council Community Transport to ensure patients’ needs are met.
Throughout 2017, WCT embarked on a big Driver and Passenger Assistant recruitment programme, recruiting 36 new Drivers and Passenger Assistants. This programme continued in 2018 and our team size is now fast approaching 100. There have also been some key changes within the office staff, with the departure of the Nicki Webb (Operations Manager), and the recruitment of Colin Gibbs (Transport Manager), who brings with him a wealth of experience within community transport. To support both Transport and Administration we have recruited assistants for each team, welcoming Richard Rawlings and Aneesa Rashid.
Our overall number of ‘journeys completed’ continues to grow, and we are on track to complete well over 120,000 journeys by the end of the year. Our Dial-a-Ride membership also continues to grow, up more than 150 on last year. In response to demand, we have introduced a new low-floor vehicle to our D-a-R service, and we will be introducing another standard vehicle to the service in the next financial year.
We will continue this year, the provision of free vehicles and volunteer drivers to assist the Woking Lions Christmas day dinner at Moorcroft, an event that we have supported for many years. I am delighted that we are able to help in this much loved event, and immensely grateful to our drivers, who give up part of their Christmas day in support of others.
We have had some great results over the year and I am both proud and privileged to be at the helm of Bustler, which continues to go from strength to strength.
Thank you for your continued support and on behalf of the Board of Woking Community Transport Bustler, I would like to wish the team, our customers, partners, friends and families a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Chief Executive – Woking Community Transport (Bustler)