Fortunately, the bus stood up well to the rigours of the winter weather and, apart from three days in early March when off the road for its second MOT, we have not had to summon up a replacement bus at all. Passenger numbers have, on average, been down by a few percent over the winter months but given the conditions it was hardly surprising.
Now Spring is in the air and we can look forward to more outings, more events and some new promotions coming up. In early June we are running our ever-popular River Thames boat trip from Marlow to Maidenhead. Sign up for that one early because seats will sell-out fast. At the end of June there’s a trip to Notcutts Garden Centre in Nuneham Courtney, one of the largest around and complete with its very own pet shop.
On 5th May our bus attended the annual Village Fete in Longwick telling visitors about the bus and our passenger services. The famous Longwick Scout Group Community Bus Kop Hill Soapbox was also with us. On 30th June we will be attending Bledlow Village Fete and on Saturday 7th July, we hope to display the bus at the Princes Risborough street fair. We hope that by supporting these events we will see more passengers.
As a thank you to our loyal passengers, we will be offering a voucher to obtain a free tea or coffee for you and a friend. The vouchers will be handed out to passengers from Monday 14th May until stocks run out and you will be able to redeem them any afternoon from the week starting 21st May at Crumbs Too or La Crepe Escape in the High Street, or at the Fieldmouse in Duke Street. Do encourage your friends to accompany you and do also encourage them to make use of our bus.
You will soon notice new advertising panels in the bus. The first one is actually in place and advertising our tea/coffee promotion. Others will follow, the revenue from which will go towards a replacement bus in 4 or 5 years’ time.
Since my last Newsletter, we have recruited and trained four new drivers and we have two more trainees who should be up & running by the Summer. Sadly, we will lose Peter Willett, one of our longest serving drivers who began with RACB in 2010; he retires from driving on 13th May. However, he has very kindly volunteered to join our maintenance team, led by David Hodgkinson, which conscientiously and professionally carries out the duties of refuelling, cleaning and maintaining the bus. We owe the team a big vote of thanks – without them we could not maintain our service.
All of us at RACB look forward to welcoming you all on board for what we hope will be a glorious Spring and Summer. Our very best wishes to all.
The newsletter is also available to download MAY 2018