PEOPLE in two villages have bus links for the first time in three years.

Villagers in Mordon and Bradbury have been without a public transport link to and from Sedgefield since 1997.

But from this week, they have got their own taxibus service, thanks to Durham County Council.

Sedgefield county councillor Ken Manton said: "This easy-to-use cross between a bus and a taxi service will give people in the two villages, who maybe don't have their own transport, an opportunity to visit Sedgefield during the day.

"Initially, the service will operate as an experiment to assess demand. But all the indications are that the service will be more than welcome in both communities.

"People will be able to get to Sedgefield for shopping trips, health appointments or to catch other connecting bus services, simply by telephoning the taxibus number."

Running on demand six days a week, the taxibus will make two return journeys a day, at 10.15am and 12.45pm from Mordon, and at 10.20am and 12.50pm from Bradbury.

The return journey times from Sedgefield will be at 11.30am and 2pm.

The taxibus is operated by Wayne's Taxis. Passengers will need to pre-book their journey up to 30 minutes in advance, and pay a 70p single fare to the driver.

The telephone number to book the bus is (01740) 623157. If there are no bookings, the service will not run.