Mobile library routes across Bath & North East Somerset are set to change to extend the reach of the service, improve safety for users and reduce the library’s carbon footprint.
The route review has been designed to encourage greater use of the mobile library by focusing on areas with no community library provision and removing dangerous stops.
Every fortnight, one day will be set aside for the mobile library to take part in outreach events, such as visiting schools to promote the Summer Reading Challenge or delivering a pop-up service at themed events.
As a result of the new timetable:
- All stops will be a minimum of 30 minutes;
- Multiple stops in the same village will be combined to improve footfall and safety;
- Stops will be reordered to improve the efficiency of the journey;
- Stops which are difficult to access or dangerous will be removed;
- Additional stops will be made in areas of social deprivation to deliver focussed programmes in partnership with other agencies;
- The mobile library will be withdrawn from villages with a community-run library.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said “We understand how important the mobile library service is to its users and want to encourage more people to use this fantastic resource, which is why we regularly review routes to ensure the mobile library continues to meet the needs of the community.
“Over the past few months we’ve looked very carefully at where we position the vehicle and some of the changes have been made for safety reasons. We also carried out an impact assessment as part of the review.
“We’ve tried to keep disruption to current users to a minimum and where stops have been removed others nearby have been extended.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to extend the length of a number of stops, including those at Marksbury and Mulberry Park.
“In fact, Mulberry Park will benefit from a stop every week greatly extending the reach of the service into local communities.
“We appreciate it may take time for people to adjust to the new timetable, but we’re talking with Parish Councils, Residents Associations and those who use the service to explain why the changes are needed.”
The mobile library will no longer stop in Peasedown St John, Timsbury or Bishop Sutton as these villages all benefit from community-run libraries.
For full details of the changes and the new timetable go to https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/mobile-library-service, call Council Connect on 01225 394041 or email [email protected]
Customers who find it difficult to access the mobile library as a result of the changes are encouraged to speak to mobile library staff or the Home Library Service team to discuss the most appropriate way to access library services.
The Home Library Service is a free service designed for readers who have severely restricted mobility and are not able to reach their local library.
Volunteers collect books or audiobooks from the council’s libraries and deliver them to service members at home.