New year drinkers taken for a ride

Some 2,000 people were transported to their homes and hotels safely by the Young United Democratic Party’s Purple Ribbon Bus Programme on New Year’s Eve, according to group organisers.

That count comes from Reid’s Premier Tours bus drivers who operated the five Purple Ribbon buses.

The Purple Ribbon Bus Programme was revived by sponsorship from the YUDP along with contributions from UDP members of the Legislative Assembly and committees. The bus signage was donated by Sign Solutions.

‘The YUDP is very grateful to all those who pulled the resources together, in such a short time, to make this effort possible,’ YUDP President Richard Christian said. ‘I am even more grateful to those who chose to utilise the bus service, helping to make our roads that mush safer on New Year’s Eve.’

The bus programme has run annually by the National Drug Council since 2000, but was in danger of stalling in the run-up to New Year due to lack of funding.

However, the YUDP, the youth arm of the United Democratic Party, stepped in at the last minute to ensure the service would continue.

The buses ran a regular route from West Bay to Bodden Town on New Year’s Eve between 10pm and 3am, picking up passengers at all major restaurants, bars and night-clubs or at regular bus stops along the way. They also ran occasional services to East End and North Side.

The YUDP plans to have further discussions with the National Drug Council about continuing the bus programme.