The Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, hopped on board the Shopper Bus last week (29 Jan), and heard from the passengers how important this new service is for the community…
Before the users reached their destination of Sainsbury's in North Watford, passengers experienced a community-focused journey with convenient home pickups and a friendly welfare driver offering assistance. This included loading shopping bags onto the bus and helping those who needed support with ramps and designated spaces for strollers or wheelchairs.
Since its launch earlier this month, the Shopper Bus service – led by Communities 1st and supported by Watford Borough Council - has seen promising passenger numbers. For many of the users, it has become an integral part of the life, providing a vital link to essential services such as grocery shopping.
Rosemary, a passenger on the Shopper Bus Service, said: “I've been using the bus regularly since its launch, and it has made my life so much easier. It's not just about the convenience; it's also about the sense of community that comes with sharing this journey with fellow residents, and the wonderful welfare drivers who support those who need it.”
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “It was great to chat with fellow residents who were using the Watford Shopper Bus. They were so positive about the friendly staff and convenience of the service. It is offering a reliable and affordable travel option and serving the needs of Watford residents. In addition, it also provides that extra assistance - a really welcoming means to get to local shops and helping people maintain their independence.”
Gary, the Welfare Driver for Communities 1st, said: “I love supporting this service and being part of it is more than just driving – it's about connecting with my neighbours and contributing to the well-being of our town. It's a privilege to be a part of something that supports those who need it and makes a positive impact on our community."
The Watford Shopper Bus operates Mondays for residents in Woodside, Meriden, Stanborough, Leggatts, Tudor, and Callowland wards, connecting them to ASDA and Sainsbury's. On Tuesdays, it serves Nascot, Park, Central, Oxhey, Vicarage, and Holywell wards, providing access to Aldi, Lidl, and Tesco.
Bookable up to three months in advance, the service costs £6 per person for a return trip, with carers paying just £1. It is aimed at those facing mobility challenges, social anxiety, or other vulnerabilities. For details and bookings, visit: communities1st.org.uk/watford-shopper
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor and Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability, Councillor Ian Stotesbury with Shopper Bus passengers