Cheshire East Council have launched a consultation exercise designed to capture the views of all interested parties on proposals for its FlexiLink service as it looks to improve and modernise its offer to passengers.
FlexiLink is a flexible bus service that provides shared transport to users who specify their desired location and time of pick-up and drop-off. FlexiLink provides access to key services (such as shopping and health services) for those residents who are eligible:
• The service is available to those who are aged 80+, have a disability, or live beyond the reach of any other public transport
• The current fare is £3 per journey or free if you have a concessionary bus pass
• The core hours of the service are between 9.30am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday
• The FlexiLink service currently picks service users up from their own home
• All journeys must be pre-booked at least 48 hours in advance via telephone
Cheshire East Council are currently reviewing the FlexiLink service to understand how the service has been performing, with an assessment of efficiency, affordability and value for money. The review so far has identified a number of significant challenges, including low levels of demand, under-utilised vehicles and often inefficient vehicle use due to a lack of automated routing and scheduling software. We have therefore identified a set of potential proposals to expand & improve the service, ensuring it is more efficient, cost effective and sustainable.
The draft proposals in summary are:
• Expanding the eligibility criteria to serve a wider population
• Expanding the current operating hours and days
• Improving the integration with the mainstream bus network
• Modernising the booking and scheduling system
• Introducing a new fare structure, including a charge for concessionary pass holders.
The public consultation will run for eight weeks from 7 August until 30 September 2023. You can complete the consultation online at:
People can also request alternative formats of the consultation by contacting the council’s customer contact centre on 0300 123 5500. Printed copies will be available in local libraries.