Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Community Minibus Service

As a number of you will know, it’s very sadly become apparent that the Hayfield Community Minibus service can no longer operate as it has so successfully for a number of years. Run by Hayfield Sustainable Transport limited (HSTL), a wholly independent but linked organisation to Sustainable Hayfield, it’s been confirmed that HSTL can no longer secure insurance for the minibuses. And without insurance, the facility cannot run. Shareholders, volunteer drivers and existing hirers have been informed and the service has ceased.

What may come in its place has yet to be determined but Roland Strube from HSTL is working hard to salvage what he can from this situation. Below, he sets out the basic facts of the situation.

Dear All

After around six years of growing use of the community minibus service, HSTL has been advised by its insurance brokers that, because of claims made over the last few years for damage sustained in the course of the minibuses’ operation, the community minibus service can no longer be covered for insurance purposes. And, once our own brokers have made that decision, no other insurance company will look at insuring the service.

This news has come as a great shock. We have strenuously sought alternative means of securing cover but have been unsuccessful. As a result, the minibuses cannot be operated or driven, and existing hirers have been informed. We are very sorry that events have taken this course, which was wholly unpredicted. We recognise the inconvenience this causes for those who have relied upon the service, and very much regret having to take this step. A valued community resource has, accordingly, been stood down with immediate effect.

We are continuing to work on rescuing what we can from this situation. This is not easy. Our first thoughts are to see whether one community minibus can be made available to the primary school, for its use (it already is a substantial user) and that the other might be used by a local passenger service vehicle operator who might commit to provide some of the same services on an affordable, commercial, basis. But this depends on funds available, shareholder intentions and the capacities and willingness of partner agencies. We will continue to explore these options and, when something concrete emerges, we shall endeavour to let the local community know of what arrangements it’s been possible to put in place.

I appreciate how disappointing this news will be for many people. We are ourselves devastated by this development, and will do what we can to mitigate this situation.

Sincerely

Roland Strube
On behalf of Hayfield Sustainable Transport Limited (HSTL)

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