Villagers Invited to Trial New On-Demand Bus Service

As Hambledon’s 503 bus service enters its final months of operation, more details have been announced about its on-demand replacement.

Over the past year, Surrey County Council has been rolling out “Surrey Connect”. It will arrive in Godalming in September, when the Hambledon to Milford, Godalming and Guildford timetabled route will cease.

Instead of Hambledon’s scheduled service, which operates just three days a week, passengers can instead request an accessible electric mini-bus to collect them from designated pick-up points in the village to anywhere in the Godalming zone.

It is already available for journeys to and from Cranleigh.

The new service will operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm and on Saturdays between 8am and 6pm. Proposed pick-up point include the village shop, Malthouse Lane, Merry Harriers and the Hydestile Crossroads.

This type of bus operation is known as Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT). Passengers need to registered for an account, and then can use either a call centre number, a mobile phone app or go online to book a single or return journey.

All journeys must be within the greater Godalming area (boundaries yet to be announced) with an adult single fare ranging from £2 to £6, depending on the distance travelled. For onward journeys, passengers would need to request a DDRT from a neighbouring zone.

Advance booking is requested and a destination and preferred arrival time provided so that the operators can arrange the journey, which may be shared with others who have booked from nearby locations.

When this service was first announced it was intended that collections would be from individual homes, but this has proved impractical. Instead, agreed collections points, similar to conventional bus stops, will be agreed and Hambledon Parish Council will ask for suggestions and negotiate with Surrey Connect.

In the meantime, Surrey Connect has already arrived in Cranleigh and Hambledon is just inside its zone. If you want to request a journey there to see how it all works you will need to register; either online at www.surreyconnect.org.uk, via the App “Surrey Connect” or by ringing 01428 681710 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Members of the parish council will be undertaking some trial journeys to put the new service to the test and would be interested in hearing the experience of other villagers. Please contact parishclerk@hambledonsurrey.co.uk to share your experience. Any feedback will be given to Surrey Connect ahead of the introduction of the Godalming zone. Currently, the service is operating locally in Farnham, and parts of Guildford as well as Cranleigh.

Hambledon Parish Council has successfully lobbied in the past for the retention of the 503, operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. Its service and passenger numbers have declined over the years and it is now limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with just one outward and one return journey.

Surrey Connect represents a big change, but its promoters say that it will open up more flexible public transport compared to the restrictions of traditional rural bus timetables. To find out more please visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreyconnect.

If you take a trial journey to Cranleigh, please let the parish council know how it went. And if you have any suggestions for pick-up points in the village other than those previously mentioned, please let us know.

Annual Parish Assembly This Thursday Night at Village Hall – Please Come Along at 7.30pm

If you care about Hambledon and the many activities and organisations that make such a significant contribution to village life, then please come along on Thursday evening to the annual Parish Assembly.

Hosted by the Parish Council, this is a social occasion as well as an opportunity to hear brief reports from all village groups on how they have fared in the last 12 months.

These range from the village sports clubs, social activities such as Bridge, book club and cycling, through to the volunteer run shop, nursery school, village trust, community fund, website, parish magazine, church and parish council.

The report from St Peter’s church will be particularly pertinent this year as it seeks urgent help in order to maintain weekly services and a vicar living in the village, And, of course, to cater for Hambledon weddings, Christenings and funerals.

And the new owners of the Merry Harriers may even find the time to drop in to update on the recent major refurbishment of our village local. It has been a busy time for Alex Winch, Sam Fiddian-Green and their staff after a three-week closure and the pub is due to re-open tonight (Wednesday April 24) at 5pm for locals and in full tomorrow.

The Parish Assembly is an inclusive and informative occasion, beginning with wine, soft drinks and refreshments from 7.30pm at the Village Hall tomorrow evening (Thursday April 25th) followed by presentations at 8pm. The event is usually concluded by 9.30pm.

All are welcome, and if you have moved to Hambledon in the last 12 months, you are especially so.

  • As is customary, the Assembly is followed on Saturday morning (April 27) by the annual village clean-up, concluding with a parish council hosted barbecue on the green outside the shop at noon. Arrive anytime after 9am to be given bin bags, litter pickers and safety jackets and an allocated area to tidy. This is a fun, family occasion, so please sign up and come along.

 GET READY FOR… Hambledon Midsummer Fête

Saturday 22nd June – 12 noon to 4pm

WE NEED YOUR KIND DONATIONS OF PLANTS, BRIC-À-BRAC, BOTTLES & CAKES!

All contributions greatly appreciated. See below for details on how to donate. 

PLANTS – Get Growing!

Nick Root is busily growing lots of lovely things but also needs your donations for the Plant Stall. So, if you’ve got green fingers or love to potter round the garden centre picking up bargains, please see get in touch with him at nickroot25@gmail.com.

BRIC-À-BRAC – Get Spring Cleaning!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so Carole Jones is hoping that your spring cleaning will unearth some treasures or unwanted gifts that need to find a new home. Please contact Carole from mid-May at calack@btinternet.com.

BOTTLES – Get Into The Cellar!

Please have a rummage for bottle donations – any kind of bottle from vintage brandy to those weird liqueurs you were gifted or even fancy shampoo! Please get in touch with Andy Hinde at andyhinde1@gmail.com.

CAKES – Get Practising Your Signature Bakes!

Calling all Star Bakers! In the week preceding the fête and on the morning itself, Sally Falk would love to receive your delicious home bakes (or shop bought cakes!) for the Cake Stall. Sally can be reached at sallyfalk@btinternet.com.

Parish Assembly – Thursday 25th April – Agenda

Hambledon Parish Council will be hosting the annual Parish Assembly on Thursday 25th April from 7.30pm in the Village Hall. It is a great evening to hear about all the latest news from the wide variety of groups and organisations in the village. It is an informal event and all are welcome.

The doors open at 7.30pm with an opportunity to have a drink and chat with neighbours. The meeting starts at 8pm when the Chairman, Cllr Stewart Payne, will give a brief update on the Parish Council’s last 12 months. Representatives of each of the many different organisations will then give a short report on their last 12 months.

There will also be an opportunity to sign up to the Community Litter pick taking place on the following Saturday 27th April from 10am. Hi viz jackets and litter pickers will be provided. The litter pick finishes with a barbeque for volunteers at 12pm outside the village shop.

The agenda for the evening is below.

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The Importance of Being Earnest coming to the Village Hall on May 16th

The Fantastic Pantaloons Theatre Company who brought us the hilarious and moving A Christmas Carol and Jane Austen’s Emma are returning to the hall with their version of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Wilde’s comic masterpiece gets The Pantaloons’ treatment in their anarchic take on this classic comedy of manners. This energetic and musical production infuses Wilde’s witty words with snappy new songs and frantically funny physical theatre to give this perennially popular play a hilarious contemporary twist!

Tickets are £15 for adults and £9 for under 16s. They will be available from the Village Shop very soon and are already available online from The Pantaloons Website. Doors open at 7pm and the performance starts at 7.30pm.

Click this link to buy your online tickets