Village Link started in June 2000 as a result of a successful Rural Bus Challenge bid of around £900,000. ‘The objective was to provide a more frequent and accessible bus service for a rural area in a cost effective way by combining conventional and demand-responsive transport.’ A key aim was to address the problem of social exclusion and increase the level of public transport provision. The services aimed to interlink with conventional services, such as at the local Tesco supermarket. The conventional services were provided by Stagecoach. Three vehicles operated on three colour-coded routes covering southern Gloucestershire. The vehicles were owned by the County Council and operated under contract. The Village Link project was expanded with Rural Bus Challenge Funding in 2003, when we became involved to manage the call centre. Village Link routes were amended in response to feedback from the public, and options to extend the routes and/or link to other existing services within the area were investigated.