A NEW bookable mini bus service is due to operate in the Cirencester area from next week. 

Gloucestershire County Council revealed its scheme known as The Robin will be launching in the South Cotswolds on Monday, June 10.

The area will receive two vehicles with officials hoping the project will improve transport links.

According to a map seen by this paper, the service also includes the surrounding area including Tetbury, Lechlade, Northleach, Kemble, South Cerney, Fairford and Birdlip.

Members of the public will be able to book The Robin over the phone, online or through an app but will have the option to pay the driver in cash or through card.

The project has been running already in the North Cotswolds and Forest of Dean since Autumn 2022.

However, according to officials no journeys can be booked wholly within Cirencester.

It comes as the area in recent years has been hit by bus cuts with passengers continuing calling for more reliable bus services. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: A map showing where The Robin is due to launch across the Cirencester area A map showing where The Robin is due to launch across the Cirencester area (Image: Gloucestershire County Council)

“We hope this is just the beginning of improvements"

Transport group Cirencester Action on Buses has welcomed the news, but hopes it is just the beginning of improvements.

A spokesperson said: “An addition to local bus services is very much welcomed and we would encourage everyone to use the Robin.  

“However, it's as yet unclear exactly what kind of service the Robin can provide to the Cirencester area until it comes onstream.  

“Plus, the currently unmet bus needs of just Cirencester and indeed the Cotswolds are huge and it is hard to see how one or two low capacity vehicles could meet those.  

“Particularly, in an era when we should be encouraging people out of their cars and onto public transport.  

“We hope this is just the beginning of much needed improvements.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Cllr Philip Robinson standing by a Robin mini bus parked in Cirencester Cllr Philip Robinson standing by a Robin mini bus parked in Cirencester (Image: Gloucestershire County Council)

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member with responsibility for buses, said: “It’s fantastic to see The Robin expanding into new areas.

"I’ve met many people who have benefited from our bookable bus service.

"It really can change people’s lives in rural areas by giving them access to employment, education, healthcare or entertainment.”

Roads Minister, Guy Opperman said: “Local people deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system.

"I'm delighted to have worked alongside the local council and local MPs to give Gloucestershire County Council more than £4 million to boost its bus services.

“Extending The Robin minibus to three more areas is great for local residents in Gloucestershire, who will now enjoy better connections while getting around more easily and with greater peace of mind.”