Changes to PINGO bus service in Berwick and Berwickshire

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A vital bus service which is providing a transport lifeline to rural communities is offering a ticket for more rides.

Some changes are being made to the Pingo demand responsive transport pilot scheme following feedback from local users and utilising data gathered from journeys undertaken.

To free up capacity on the three designated Pingo buses currently operating, allocated pick-up and drop-off points have now been established in every town in the county – Greenlaw, Duns, Chirnside, Eyemouth, Berwick, Coldstream.

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The service now prioritises these as destinations to link passengers into key services, amenities and the existing fixed route bus services.

Pingo Bus (Facebook)Pingo Bus (Facebook)
Pingo Bus (Facebook)

Further changes will also be introduced from January 8, with the Pingo service operating in a more structured manner focussing on helping to connect residents who live in the most rural areas and operating less across areas where existing bus routes already run.

This is to prioritise residents who do not live in an area with existing bus services and who rely on the Pingo service.

Residents who have mobility issues will continue to receive a ‘door to door’ service which can only be booked via the call centre on 01289 385 506.

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As part of the alterations to the service, Pingo will also no longer drop off passengers in Eyemouth or Berwick at times where fixed bus routes operate. Instead access to these towns will be provided by connecting passengers to the network that serves those towns.

That means that during the hours of 9am and 6pm customers should be booking Pingo to transport them to the nearest town to access the fixed route bus services.

Cllr Jenny Linehan, Scottish Borders Council executive member for Environment and Transport, said: “Throughout this trial we have always been open to making changes based on feedback from users and data gathered to continually improve the service. That feedback has shown that many of the journeys ordered by residents through Pingo are to supplement existing services which already operate.

“To address this we have increased the frequency of certain existing services to offer more flexibility and in doing so create more capacity for journeys from isolated, rural areas.”

Pingo journeys can be booked by either telephone on 01289 385 506 or by using the mobile app.