Photo: Dover District Council

A new free evening bus service is being piloted to help keep local women safe as they enjoy fun and festive evenings out in the run up to Christmas.

The ‘Angel Express’ will be available for all women, and it will serve bus stops in Mill Hill (Deal), Market Square (Aylesham), Buckland and St Radigunds escorting all passengers into Dover town centre.

Bayliss coaches will be running the service, and one of their double decker buses will become the ‘Angel Express’ on six Friday and Saturday evenings in December (3,4,10,11,17,18 December).

Up to 70 female residents will be able to reserve a two-way ticket in advance for each evening the service operates, and officers from Kent Police will oversee the drop-off points.

This new service has been made possible using Police and Crime Commissioner funding and reinforces Dover District Council’s pledged support for the White Ribbon movement to end male violence against women.

Cllr Oliver Richardson, DDC’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the community said: “In this current day and age, no female should fear going out. The Angel Express is a great initiative to allow women in the Dover District free and safe travel during the festive period, to enjoy their time with friends and family in the night-time economy.

“This is just one of the many projects set up by the Dover District Community Safety Partnership to ensure that the Dover District remains a safe place to live, work and visit and compliments the White Ribbon pledge recently signed by Dover District Council.”

Alistair Bayliss, Managing Director, Bayliss Executive Travel said: “I feel privileged that we as a company have been asked to get involved with this wonderful initiative and know that all of my staff back it to the absolute hilt – in today’s day and age, no ‘angel’ should feel frightened of going out with their friends and we hope that by playing our small part, everyone has a wonderful time leading up to Christmas. It’s been a tough enough couple of years for so many people and if we can put a smile on a few faces, we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to do.”

Inspector Paul Barrell, Kent Police and Dover Community Safety Unit, said: “The ‘Angel Express’ Safe Travel bus scheme being implemented over the festive period to provide free travel on certain evenings to females from Dover town to outlying communities is another notable example of the Community Safety Partnership’s commitment to further enhancing the safety of women and girls in Dover. Dover is a safe place to live, work and socialise, and initiatives like this from Dover District Council build on the significant work already taking place to ensure that people are not only safe but ‘feel safe’ within Dover district.”

The ‘Angel Express’ is an initiative developed by DDC’s Community Safety team with the support of the Dover District Community Safety Partnership.

Catch the bus

The ‘Angel Express’ bus stops and times are:

  • Aylesham Health Centre – 19:00
  • The Mill Hill Inn, Deal – 19:30
  • Buckland Community Centre – 19:45
  • St Radigund’s Community Centre – 19:55

The return journey will depart at 23:00 from Pencester Gardens bus stop.

The free tickets can be reserved via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-angel-express-tickets-216979269837

By Ed

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