ELDERLY villagers frustrated by a lack of bus services have been handed a lifeline after their dial-a-ride service was reinstated.
Coun John Singleton said he was delighted after Lancashire County Council agreed to bring back the service between Staining village and Cleveleys.
Residents living in Staining lost their dial-a-ride service several years ago, and the village has been hit by further cuts to bus services in recent months.
Coun Singleton, who represents the area on Fylde Council, said: “It’s a community dial-a-ride service and helps disabled passengers who can’t use ordinary transport services. I had to have a word with Mark Menzies (Fylde MP) on one or two occasions to get it sorted but I felt we needed something else in the village because some people had contacted me.
“We lost our service when Blackpool became a unitary authority so they’ve not had this service for several years.”
Dial-a-ride buses can be booked by passengers and offer a door-to-door service.
They are also specially adapted to make them easier for elderly and disabled passengers to access.
Lancashire County Council’s dial-a-ride services have come under fire recently after funding changes led to the introduction of charges on all routes. But despite the £2-a-time cost of using the bus, Coun Singleton said it was proving successful.
He added: “It helps people who are really in need.
“I’m pleased about it and I’m hoping it can be expanded.”
The service is being operated by the county council’s in-house Travelcare service on a trial basis and runs every Wednesday.
Andrew Gill, head of the county council’s integrated transport unit, said: “If it’s going to become sustainable in the long-term, passenger numbers will need to be high enough to generate sufficient revenue through fares to cover operating costs.
“If the route proves to be popular, there may be an opportunity to build on its success. It’s really up to passengers to support the service as much as possible and show that the demand is there.”
To register to use the service and book a journey call (01772) 682749 before the day of travel.