Whitbread Wanderbus is a not for profit organisation set up in 1989 to provide weekday scheduled bus services for the general public in and around the villages centred on Shefford, taking them to/from local and regional town centres & shopping centres.
We operate two 16-seater buses serving the following destinations:
Bedford, Biggleswade, Hitchin, Letchworth and Shefford on a weekly basis and Milton Keynes, St Neots and Welwyn Garden City on a monthly basis.
It is run entirely by volunteers and any surpluses are re-invested in our buses. We have no offices nor paid employees and we receive no Goverment nor Regional Council funding (CBC) but rely fare income and on grants from Charitable Trusts & Foundations along with support from local Town & Parish Councils whose residents we serve.
We did however win a grant from The Department for Transport (Rural Bus Fund) in 2015 that allowed us to purchase a second bus and this enabled us to both increase the frequency of our services and add more destinations.
The Wanderbuses are available most evenings and weekends for private hire with our driver by community groups and associations.
It is important for us to emphasise that we are open to all bus users and accept Cash Fares & Concessionary Travel Passes on all our services as would any other fixed bus service.
All of our fixed routes are registered with the Transport Commission and are therefore open to the general public although the majority of our passengers are Concessionary Pass Holders. Our routes serve rural villages, some areas of social housing and others with poor transport links.
The routes are set in conjunction with Central Bedfordshire Council to allow us to cover the times/gaps in the services provided by their contracted bus operators and to ensure we are not in competition with them.
Our services are designed so that our passengers can be dropped off as near to their homes as is practical and where safe and legal to do so. Drivers also endeavour to assist elderly alighting passengers with their bags, trollies and walking aids. Both buses have adequate luggage space to hold such items as well as pushchairs.
We believe that Wanderbus provides an essential service in providing the elderly, disadvantaged and rural communities with way to get out and enjoy local and regional amenities and to retain mobility within their communities. For many passengers there is a strong social aspect to our services and we welcome all ages to use our buses.