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Brand new buses mean farewell tour for the Sandwell Youth Bus | Sandwell Council

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Brand new buses mean farewell tour for the Sandwell Youth Bus

Published 20th March 2023

Russell Allen - Senior Youth Officer, Louse Swinfon, David Esterine - Youth Bus Driver, Cllr Simon Hackett and Luke Scott

Sandwell Council’s Youth Service has invested in two new buses to replace the aging Sandwell Youth Bus as it comes to the end of its life as a mobile youth centre.

Around £700,000 will be invested in two brand new buses to serve young people in Sandwell for many years to come.

The new buses are currently on the production line before they are sent to be customised to be used as youth buses. The new buses will be kitted out with the latest technology including a mini recording studio, a sensory area, a virtual reality offer, smart TVs and gaming consoles.

The current bus has served a generation of Sandwell’s young people since its launch in 2013 but has become less reliable owing to it first being registered on the road in 1999. It is estimated the bus gets around 9,000 visits per year from young people with many being return visits.

Councillor Simon Hackett, Cabinet Member for Children and Education is delighted the new youth buses are on order. He said: “I attended the launch of the Youth Bus all those years ago so I’ll be sad to see it go but delighted we’ve been able to invest in two new buses.

“Our youth bus is such an important part of Sandwell’s offer to young people. It allows us to get into the heart of the community and bring activities for young people who might not otherwise travel to a youth club.

“It allows our youth workers to provide targeted support to young people who need it. It’s a safe space where young people can get information and support and meet others.

“It’s a vital service for our young people and we know it’s very popular so it’s a real worthwhile investment with the two new buses expected to attract even more young people.”

The Youth Bus will conduct its farewell tour throughout the year until Sandwell Council takes delivery of the two new buses – expected to be later this year.

Louise Swinfon (pictured), now aged 27, was at the launch of the Youth Bus in January 2013. She said: “I remember the launch day for the youth bus and was really proud to be involved.

"It has been great to see how popular the bus has been with young people in Sandwell after we helped design it. 

Luke Scott (also pictured) added: “It was a great experience and it will be sad when this bus does its last session but it is amazing news that the next generation of young people in Sandwell will be getting two brand new buses later in the year."

For more information on Young People’s Services and positive activities for young people across Sandwell including our holiday activity programmes please visit our website or telephone 0121 569 2899.