Courier bus aims to coble together more drivers

Ken and Christel Smith
Ken and Christel Smith

Ken and Christel Smith know all about supporting their local community. They took time out while volunteering at Lythe Village Store, to talk about how they need more drivers for Staithes Coble Courier.

The Coble Courier is a much loved volunteer bus service which enables all of those without their own wheels to get out and about.

Coble Courier, picture: David Manship

Coble Courier, picture: David Manship

Due to popular demand, Ken and the Coble committee decided to launch a campaign to get more drivers on board.

“We’re having a fundraiser and a relaunch party for the Coble Courier at Staithes Village Hall on Wednesday August 24 from 5.30pm, and everyone is welcome. Filip Cieslik will be performing music and there will be a buffet and wine, along with a grand raffle,” said Ken.

“Part of the relaunch is to help it expand. It’s known as a Staithes bus but we want to have a larger catchment area and encourage others to book the bus for their own outings.

“For example, Lythe Forum use it with their own driver. Also there’s a fortnightly service from Staithes to Redcar which has become a social fixture for many who want to go and do a big shop.”

Whitby Computers are putting together a website which Ken and Christel hope will raise awareness and get more people using this very special service. Christel does all the booking and tries wherever possible to get the right drivers for the right outing.

“If I know our drivers love theatre then I get them to look after trips that are taking groups to see a show.

“It’s nice to include drivers in the experience. Some love gardens or stately homes so if I have enough notice I can organise it that they enjoy the day as well.”

Officially formed in May 2005 with a steering group of six and a second hand LDV bus, affectionately called the old rattler, this ran until Christmas of 2013. A major fundraising campaign, helped with grants, managed to raise £23,700 for a smart new Ford bus.

Ken, along with the steering group members, will help with advice and funding for anyone who would like to become a driver.

“If you have a driving licence that was issued before January 1 1997, then it will have a D1 category. Drivers need a one day Midas training course, which will make them eligible to drive any section 19 licenced vehicle. The training will be paid for by us and then all you need is to do is volunteer a few hours each month.”

On the relaunch evening Ken will be there, along with other members and drivers.

To get involved ring 01947 841768.