Mole Valley is an area in the county of Surrey, England. With a population of approximately 85,000, the rural part of the area is very large and represents about 90% of its total area.
In order to provide a dynamic and flexible transport service to its residents, Surrey County Council has approached Padam Mobility to conduct a trial of a Demand-Responsive Transport service to rural and suburban areas: the West Leatherhead DRT.
In November 2021, Surrey Connect, West Leatherhead's new Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service, was officially launched. The service has been in a trial phase since May and was introduced to the local community by Surrey County Council. The new Demand-Responsive Transport service has been supported by £660,000 from the Department for Transport's Rural Mobility Fund.
With a fleet of 2 minibuses, Surrey Connect is operated by Mole Valley District Council and is available weekdays from 7am to 6pm. This on-demand service is designed to enable everyone to get around: the elderly who can no longer get around independently, young people without alternative means of mobility or the working population who travel to the train station.
Several booking options are available on the Padam Mobility platform and users can book a ride either via the "Surrey Connect" app, the booking website or the call centre. Tickets can then be paid for in cash in the vehicle.
For now, Surrey Connect is available in Leatherhead, but will be rolled out to other areas in the region over the next year.