A NEW taxi-bus service in Hook, which has been backed by villagers, has been given the green light.

The service, organised and paid for by villagers through Hook Parish Council, will start on Monday.

Councillor Mandy Butler told a meeting of the parish council that the scheme had been approved by the traffic commissioner.

It will involve an eight-seater van making regular journeys between Holt Park, to the east of Hook, and the village centre.

The estate was left with limited public transport when the number 10 service was axed in October 2011 after Hampshire County Council slashed £2million from its bus subsidy target. The number 100 service is also set to cease this month in a shake-up of the timetables by operator Stagecoach.

Cllr Butler said: “It is a major milestone.

“We were able to make an application to the traffic commissioner in conjunction with Capital Cars (which will run the service). It has been very frustrating because it’s taken a long time for it to be registered.”

The scheme is part of a long-running campaign by the parish council to get better public transport provision.

The six-month trial has a budget of £8,000, but the parish council does not expect the cost to reach that figure. Concessionary fares will also be available.

New ‘hail zones’, with the logo of Capital Cars, will appear in roads in the east of the village where people can signal for the van to stop.

Timetables were delivered to more than 1,100 homes in eastern Hook over the weekend, and will also be available from businesses in the village centre.

Councillor Martin Whittaker, who chaired the parish council meeting, told Cllr Butler: “I thought it would never happen because buses have proved difficult for us in the past. But you managed it – well done.”