North Devon's Surf and Cycle Bus has reached the end of the road because of funding shortfall.
The Surf Bus, as it is known by regular passengers, was launched in 2011 as part of a two year pilot scheme. The aim was to determine the need for bespoke transport for cyclists and surfers and to test the commercial viability of such an operation.
However despite positive passenger feedback the scheme has failed to win funding from the Fullabrook Windfarm Community Fund and the Devon County Council Sustainable Transport scheme, meaning it cannot continue.
The pilot service, set up with funding from Leader4 Torridge and North Devon through the Rural Development Programme for England fund was scheduled to run from May to September. Cycling Devon, North Devon Council and North Devon AONB also provided support at the early stage of the launch.
Running for a total of 35 weeks during 2011 and 2012, the Surf Cycle Bus transported 11,276 passengers, 830 surfboards and 515 bikes between Barnstaple, Braunton, Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe.
Isabelle Bromham from North Devon+ was instrumental in securing the original Leader 4 funding for the pilot. She said “The current economic climate, with budget cuts across a number of sectors means that we are unable to ensure the future of the surfbus. It’s with great sadness that we announce the end of a local service that has provided locals and visitors with public transport customised to carry bikes and surfboards.”
However North Devon+ says it is very keen to see the service continue this summer and has invited interested organisations, businesses or funding agencies to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org