Vital service handed a lifeline

A Dial-a-Ride bus
A Dial-a-Ride bus

A vital community transport service that provides a lifeline to elderly and disabled people across the borough has been given a grant by Chorley Council to help maintain the service.

The Central Lancashire dial-a-ride service (pictured) provides a door-to-door transport link for vulnerable people in Chorley and the funding from the council will help to keep the full service going for the rest of the financial year.

Back in March, the service was under review after it was threatened with the axe by Lancashire County Council (LCC), which provides the majority of the funding for the service that has operated in Chorley for the last 27 years.

A temporary reprieve was put in place while the scheme was reviewed and now the extra money will mean the community transport in Chorley will continue at least until the end of March.

Tracy Platt, Manager of the Central Lancashire dial-a-ride service, said: “We do rely on grants like this one from Chorley Council, so it’s great that we have received more funding.

“The service is vital to many elderly and vulnerable people across the borough and the news will be well received by the people who use the service.”

The funding from Chorley Council will ensure that the extended elements of the community transport service, such as providing transport outside of the core hours, will be available.

Coun John Walker, who oversees the allocation of core funding at Chorley Council, said: “This is a vital service for many people who find it difficult to use the normal bus services.

“At the time the service was threatened with closure by the county council we lobbied hard to make sure it remained in place.

“It was given a temporary reprieve and now the extra funding has been found to ensure it remains in place until next spring and I’m sure it will come as a huge relief to the many people that rely on the excellent service.”

The £1,875 grant from Chorley Council was secured after Central Lancashire dial-a-ride successfully put a bid into the authority’s core funding scheme.

“It’s important that a long-term solution is found for the community transport service and we will be in discussions with the county council about it,” said Coun Walker.

“The money the council has put in will ensure that the elements of the service people tell us are important will remain in place.”