People living in the Somerton and Langport areas can now take advantage of a trial on-demand flexible transport service.

The brand new Digital Slinky minibuses are funded by the Government’s £13 million Bus Service Improvement Grant (BSIP), along with a raft of other BSIP measures in Somerset. It can be booked quickly and easily by anybody living in Somerton and the surrounding villages – all you need to do is register and either book it online or by downloading the app. You can find out more here , including other ways to book.

The service is being introduced on Tuesday 28 May a trial basis until March 2026. Digital Slinky could end up helping to transform demand responsive transport in the county if it is successful. The booking line opens on Monday 13 May.

The service offers a handy alternative for people needing to get to the shops, work, appointments or social visits if a bus service is not easily available, or they just want to leave the car at home.

The Slinky app uses existing bus stops and landmarks as pick-up points, to connect people to local places of interest within the operating area – such as the supermarkets, town centres, education and health care services. There are also plans to connect people with the current public transport network for onward travel.
For people who can’t get to a designated pick-up point, due to mobility issues, a pick-up can be arranged from home. You can book up to an hour before your journey time and two weeks in advance – which is recommended where possible to secure your journey.

Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Councillor Richard Wilkins said:

In a rural county like ours demand responsive transport has the potential to play a much bigger role going forward.

People don’t always have easy access to a bus route or a car, or they may wish to leave their car at home. Digital Slinky is a great alternative, reliable, affordable and easy to book. Anyone can use it.
If this trial is successful we will look at introducing the service into other areas in Somerset.

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said:

As part of the Government’s plan to improve local transport, we have provided £13 million to Somerset Council, enabling the Slinky on-demand minibus to provide more flexible local transport for local residents living in Somerton and Langport.

Somerset Council’s existing Slinky and Community Transport service already covers many areas of the county and unlike Digital Slinky is geared more towards residents who do not have a transport alternative and may have restricted mobility.

About this article

May 9, 2024

Andrew Doyle

Press Release