“USE it or lose it” – that’s the message to residents in Tadley and Baughurst about an under-threat community bus service.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the pilot bus service Route 56 Shopabout was launched nearly six months ago.

The service is operated by Basingstoke Community Transport in conjunction with Tadley Town Council and Baughurst and Kingsclere Parish Councils.

It was hoped that by now the service would have become self-funding, but low numbers of passengers means that the service is under threat.

Tadley councillor Jo Slimin said: “The take up from Kingsclere has been excellent. However, residents along other parts of the route need to make use of the service.

“If they don’t, there is a real risk it will not be able to continue if numbers do not improve as the service needs to be self-financing.”

The community bus runs on Wednesday and Friday each week. It starts in Monk Sherborne, before heading to Kingsclere via Wolverton Townsend.

In a bid to attract more users, the route has now been amended to travel from Kingsclere into Baughurst via Wolverton Common before going through Tadley to its final stop at Sainsbury’s, before returning via the same route.

Cllr Slimin said: “Thanks to a grant from local Hampshire County Councillor Warwick Lovegrove, the bus will be able to continue for a further month into April to test out the new route.”

The bus, which can be hailed anywhere along the route, is free to those with concessionary bus passes and can take wheelchairs. For more information about the service, visit bct.me.uk.