DISABLED users of a ‘vital’ charity transport service say if it closes they will be denied a ‘lifeline’.
Pensioners and disabled residents in the town have come out in support of Warrington Community Transport after the Warrington Guardian revealed it faces drastic cutbacks after Warrington Borough Council reduced funding.
Margaret Alcock, aged 74, of North Park Brook Road, Callands, said uses the Dial-A-Ride service, which offers transport to hospitals, GPs, community centres and shops.
She lives alone and is unable to walk more than a few yards due to the after effects of a spine operation, and severe arthritis.
“I really and truly rely on them to get me out of the house and to the shops,” said Mrs Alcock.
“They take me anywhere I want to go and are worth every penny.
“I don’t know what I would do if they weren’t here.”
Joyce Penlington runs a social club for the elderly at Oughtrington Community Centre on Oughtrington Crescent, Lymm.
She says 18 pensioners visit the club twice a week with the aid of Dial-A-Ride.
“Without Dial-A-Ride, the elderly and disabled people would not be going anywhere,” said Mrs Penlington, who has supported community work for 30 years.
“We rely on them.
“Maybe 300 people are using the service to get to the community centres across the town.
“Dial-a-Ride is a door to door service and it’s smashing.
“Funding for the service should be a priority of Warrington Borough Council.
“Transport is key because without it, people that need these clubs will not get there.
“To have a social side to look forward to is often all they have to keep going.”
Warrington Borough Council has announced it is to reduce funding for Warrington Community Transport by £72,000 over the next four years.
It will still provide £125,000 a year, but WCT bosses are struggling to fill the shortfall.
Brian Wilson, is general manager of the charity, based on Athlone Road, which provides 30,000 journeys a year.
He has appealed for help from parish councils in Warrington, writing to them ask for support.
Mr Wilson said buses are due to be sold and the amount of users that can be helped, will be ‘severely hit’ if further funding is not found.