Leicestershire County Council received £1.3m from the Department for Transport to fund three minibuses connecting rural villages in the south of Leicester to key areas such as Carlton Park, Enderby Park & Ride, Fosse Park, Hinckley station, Magna Park, Narbourough station and Next Headquarters.
Woods Coaches were called on to operate a demand-responsive transport (DRT) service in response to this funding. The Fox Connect service builds on Leicester’s existing DRT network while adding to the existing timetabled bus services in Leicester & Hinkley. This is to provide a lifeline to small villages that had experienced transportation cuts in previous years.
Fox Connect operates ‘on-demand’, with booking via the smartphone app, vital to attracting new user groups and diverse travel demands For travel into Leicester city centre, the service is timed to connect with ‘park and ride’ buses and overlaps in Narborough with existing DRT zones. The DRT service is part of the solution to meeting the needs of residents in rural areas that have no access to private transport or want to use public transport.
Woods Coaches runs the modern and rural Fox Connect service, which benefits from having the following technologies at its disposal: Mobile App, Driver App, Back office platform, and an analytics suite. The analytics suite enables Leicester County Council to improve and deliver a sustainable Fox Connect service.
Fox Connect meets national and local policy objectives, particularly in regard to accessibility to jobs and services, as well as carbon reduction. The service helps get people to work while supporting the local economy and boosting sustainable travel within the area.
The service covers a large area between Leicester and Hinckley with diverse travel demands being met by three modern minibuses. The minibuses are low emissions and the environmental impact is considerably less than the majority of the supported network.
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