A VILLAGE bus service will extend its route to take people to a Basingstoke supermarket and the town centre.
The number 74 shuttle bus, which travels around Overton, was taken over by Basingstoke Community Transport in August 2011 after its previous operator, Steveton Transport Services, went bust. Now, the charity has announced that it will extend the service to take customers from Overton to Morrison’s supermarket and Church Square in Basingstoke.
The new route officially began yesterday, on February 19, but Basingstoke Community Transport said it would trial it the week before to iron out any problems that may arise. It will run two trips on Tuesday and Thursday, leaving Overton High Street at 9.13am and 11.43am, and will return from Morrison’s at 11.30am and 2pm.
The fare will be £8 for those without a bus pass, and must be paid with the exact change. There will also be extra services around Overton in the afternoons on weekdays. The current shuttle service around Overton is funded by Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, but the cost of the extended route will be covered by Basingstoke Community Transport.
Overton parish councillor Brian Langer said: “It has been stated many times that this service is not for the sole use of the elderly.
“Usage has increased significantly in recent months with daily totals reaching over 80 on some occasions. That is very welcome as with high usage the threat to its continued operation through third part funding should be lessened.”