Volunteer bus drivers save Isle of Wight routes reports that volunteers will be used to drive rural routes which have lost their IOW Council subsidies and were due to be axed. In a deal between Southern Vectis and the IOW Council, Southern Vectis will provide the vehicles as well as “training, fuel and insurance as part of a deal forming a wider agreement with the council.”
On the face of it this sounds like a very good thing with those areas which would have lost their bus service continuing to receive the service as before. On the other hand Southern Vectis buses will be running scheduled services with unpaid drivers. According to VentnorBlog this will require “60 volunteer drivers to operate nine routes across the Island”. That’s more drivers and routes than quite a few small, independent, bus companies have!
Is this the thin edge of a wedge?