THE new bus service in the Alresford area will start on October 7, the town council heard.

Run by Cresta Coaches the service will operate from Old Alresford, into Alresford town centre and on to Ashburton Road, Jesty Road, Benenden Green, the Lakes and Castles roads and Sun Hill Crescent.

The service, to be called AB1, will partially replace the 64 service that Stagecoach pulled out of earlier this year It will be a ‘hail and ride’ service and will run twice daily on Mondays and Thursdays Initially it will run for three months on a trial basis.

Some concern has been raised by the New Alresford Town Trust which fears it could clash with its community minibus service.

Trust chairman Robin Atkins said: “It may take passengers away.”

He and town trust secretary Pam Stevens are unhappy that town councillor Margot Power, also a town trust trustee, has been working on helping a potential rival service.

But city councillor Simon Cook said: “I don’t think there will be a clash. The town trust bus picks people up at their homes. The new service will cover the route from Sun Lane to Old Alresford.

“The only time (there may be a clash) is if the new service starts asking for grants from the same grant-giving agencies that support the town trust.”

Meanwhile two volunteer drivers of the minibus have resigned after the vehicle was twice involved in minor collisions in recent weeks.