THE future of a community bus service which helps people get to hospital appointments has been secured after a £20,000 cash boost.

The transport scheme, run by Tendring Community Transport, ensures residents in need across the Clacton area receive a door-to-door service.

Its Hospital Hopper bus, which has wheelchair access, helps less able patients of all ages.

Last year the charity completed a remarkable 145,709 journeys.

Now the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has shown its support to the service by offering £20,000 in funding to keep it going.

Chris Howlett, programme director for the CCG, said: “Funding for services such this is vital if we are to help the residents of north east Essex attend hospital appointments.

“Access to affordable and reliable transport services is particularly important for people who live in rural communities and for those who are less mobile or with a disability.”

He added: “Consequently the CCG will continue to work with local authorities, Essex County Council and the voluntary sector to find ways of improving transport services for our patients and their families.”

Pauline Mann, chief executive of Tendring Community Transport, expressed her gratitude for the support.

“The funding is great news,” she said.

“It means the hopper service, which is heavily relied upon by Tendring residents, can continue for another year.”

She added: “I am grateful for the support we received in securing this funding from Tendring Council, Community Voluntary Services Tendring and the North East Essex Health Forum.”

Tendring Community Transport runs the Hospital Hopper, Dial-a-Ride and Community Transport for Groups services.

The hopper regularly picks people up from Holland-on-Sea, Clacton, Great Clacton, Little Clacton, St Osyth, Great Bentley and Colchester before dropping them off at the hospital they require.

It is free for those with a concessionary bus pass after 9am and operates from Monday to Sunday.

The last bus leaves Colchester General Hospital at 8.20pm from Monday to Friday and at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about the service, go to

The service was first introduced in July 2004.