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Article by Paul Wright, 2023

The Wellibus

The Rushden Rider bus service was a very popular, and well used mode of public transport that could be seen starting off its various routes from outside of what was “Flutters Bingo” (The Ritz cinema) in College street in Rushden.

It had been operated by Expesslines Ltd, and ceased on our routes back in September of 2022.

But alas, they rode out of town towards their base in Bedford for the final time, after serving the area well.

But the local area is once again being served, this time by the long established “Wellibus”, albeit on a trial basis of six months.

If you call them on 01933-223636, from 9.00 until 2.30 Monday to Friday, the staff will tell you more about what they do, and where they travel to.

The service began on Monday 3rd April, 2023, in perfect weather conditions of 13C and sunny. It offers free travel with a current concessionary bus pass, this includes disabled and older persons. The vehicle is wheel chair friendly, and fully accessible.

This pass provides free travel on local buses anywhere in England, from 9:30am to 11pm on weekdays, and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

You will qualify when you reach the female State Pension Age, whether you are a man or a woman.

How to Apply

You can apply up to 60 days before you become eligible, and they can send out the pass 10 calendar days before that date.

You can apply at a Library and you will need to bring proof of your age and residency and your photograph will be taken there. Acceptable evidence includes:

current driving licence

current passport

birth certificate

medical card

pension service award letter

any other proof of your birth date

You will also need to prove that you are resident in North Northamptonshire:

a household bill or bank statement which has your name and address on and is no more than three months old.

You can renew up to 60 days before the card's expiry date. They can send out the pass 30 calendar days before that date.

The Wellibus

This new scheme offers a “dial a ride” system, and is door to door for your convenience. You may book up five days in advance, or by 12 noon on the day of travel.

To become a member of the scheme will cost £15, and will be required for that six month trial period. As that period reaches the end, councils will review the level of use, and how the service is meeting the needs of the community.

Funding is being provided jointly, by Rushden and Higham Ferrers Town councils.

That phone number again, is 01933-223636.

And their website is:

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