(April 4th 2016)
Passengers travelling on Farnham’s hoppa bus recently found themselves sharing their journey with the Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Mrs Pat Frost.
Farnham Town Council is a key funder of the service, so hoppa was keen to invite the Mayor to ride along and experience first hand what it is that makes the service so popular with Farnham’s residents.
Farnham’s Demand Response Transport service allows customers to book their journey in advance. Valid bus passes can be used after 9.30am, which makes travelling on hoppa free for many customers. Once a customer has booked their journey, the bus will pick them up from their home at an agreed time and take them to their destination.
The Farnham hoppa buses cover an area that includes nearly 30 villages and hamlets as well as Farnham town centre. Over a two-hour period, the Mayor greeted and talked with passengers from Lower Bourne, Churt, Tilford and Wrecclesham and heard how much the service is valued.
One passenger summed up what was felt by many when she said: “hoppa means that people who are normally stuck indoors can get out and that means so much when you spend a lot of time on your own. I would be well and truly stuck if it wasn’t for hoppa.”
Speaking at the end of her hoppa journey, Councillor Mrs Pat Frost said: “Although I’ve known about hoppa since it started in 2002, travelling on board as a passenger has been really interesting. It is something I should have done before now as talking to the passengers has given me a real insight into the community. Waverley is a very rural area and from what I heard from hoppa passengers, there really is no other reasonable alternative to this type of service.
“It was wonderful to meet so many people and nice to hear unsolicited, positive comments about the service provided by the drivers.”
Hoppa’s general manager, Steve Forward says: “We are very grateful to Farnham Town Council and Surrey County Council for their support of the service.
“By inviting the Mayor to ride along on hoppa, we wanted to offer her the opportunity to experience the service at first hand. She saw how our drivers pick up passengers from their home at an agreed time and how this puts an end to some of our older and more vulnerable members of the community having to wait around for a bus at a cold, draughty bus stop. The drivers drop off passengers outside their home and provide a hand with carrying shopping bags to the front door. Hoppa offers a very personal and quality service. Registering to use hoppa is very quick and easy and I would urge anybody who hasn’t yet given it a go to call us.”
Popular destinations for Farnham’s hoppa service include supermarkets, the library, garden centres, day centres and Farnham town centre.
Registering with hoppa can be completed online at www.hoppa.org.uk or by calling 01428 681701.
(Left) Steve Forward, general manager; Andy Bunch, driver and the Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Mrs Pat Frost with regular passengers on the Farnham hoppa service.