Bus lifeline is back on track

Pictured in St John's Square, Blackpool, at the relaunch of Rideability, are (from left), Councillor John Jones (Cabinet Member-Highways and Transport, Blackpool Council), Martin Wilson (chairman, Rideability), Paul Lambert (Rideability service user) and Gordon Marsden (MP for Blackpool South and president-Rideability).

Pictured in St John's Square, Blackpool, at the relaunch of Rideability, are (from left), Councillor John Jones (Cabinet Member-Highways and Transport, Blackpool Council), Martin Wilson (chairman, Rideability), Paul Lambert (Rideability service user) and Gordon Marsden (MP for Blackpool South and president-Rideability).

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A “vital” under-threat bus service for disabled and elderly people has had its future secured.

There were fears Rideability, which provides door-to-door transport for people who might otherwise be housebound, could be at risk after Blackpool Council decided to take it in-house in order to save £30,000.

But the lifeline has now been relaunched thanks to a new partnership between the council and local charity Disability Services.

The charity’s chairman Martin Wilson said: “There will be greater availability of council buses and resources and as a charity we can seek additional funding for extensions of the service, including attracting more volunteers.”

Users say they are delighted the future of the service has been secured.

Blackpool resident Ellen Cook, 91, said: “It is really important Rideability is kept going because the drivers are excellent and the prices are right. We are all disabled so without it we wouldn’t get out.”

Dorothy Haith, 73, also from Blackpool, said: “I have had a stroke so I can’t get out on my own, but Rideability takes us all over the place.”

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for transport at Blackpool Council, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to secure this agreement to re-launch the Rideability service.

“It is a fantastic service for elderly and disabled people which can help prevent people from becoming isolated, help create friendships and encourage people to get out and about for some exercise, shopping and see friends and family.” For more information call (01253) 293300.

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