ALRESFORD's new minibus has been officially unveiled.

Steve Brine MP snipped the ceremonial ribbon on the vehicle that is a lifeline for many in the town.

Around 40 people attended the ceremony last Saturday at The Swan Hotel, ranging from minibus organisers, volunteer drivers, local councillors, Mr Brine accompanied by his children and trustees of Alresford Town Trust.

The Mercedes Sprinter has 15 seats which had the advantage of automatic steering, special luggage/shopping compartment and graduated steps, which the Trust hope will help the elderly and disabled passengers get on and off.

Mr Brine said: “The work done by both Pam Stevens and the trust has proven itself over so many years and the minibus service is, quite literally, a lifeline for many. The fact the last bus did over 100,000 miles shows what an incredible resource it is for the town and I have no doubt it will go from strength to strength with this new and improved model. It was a privilege to cut the ribbon and send it on its way”.

Minibus organiser Pam Stevens presented certificates and M&S vouchers to Barry Mitchell who had driven the bus for over 10 years, Wayne Sansom (eight) and Dennis Jones (seven).

She also thanked Bernard Simmons, the driver, who had helped the trust in selecting the new Minibus and gave him a bottle of Jack Daniels Whisky as a thank you.

The Trust will retain the old minibus as a back up to enable it to perform more journeys. The first journey was on May 2 with Age Concern who use the Minibus twice a week, and also a shopping visit to Alton Sainsbury's.

Any person or organisation interested in using the minibus should contact Pam Stevens on (01962) 734861 or E.Mail