Voluntary car scheme fears

THE organisers behind a voluntary scheme which provides a vital transport lifeline for the disadvantaged and elderly have warned that it may have to fold unless a new co-ordinator can be found.

The Voluntary Car Scheme in Burgh le Marsh works to ferry those without access to public transport to doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, and shops, among other things.

It has grown so successful that today, no fewer than eight volunteer drivers help provide a vital lifeline to those who might otherwise be stranded in their home.

But long-serving co-ordinator Adrian Langley has now had to step down from the role, owing to his other commitments with groups such as the town windmill.

And unless someone else steps into the vacant role there are fears the successful scheme may be forced to end.

Town councillor Jim Dodsworth has urged a replacement to step forward.

He said: “I’d like to thank Adrian for his many years of service - he has been a huge reason for the continued success of the scheme.

“Unfortunately, though understandably, he has had to step down due to his other commitements.

“The voluntary car scheme is very busy and very useful but it can’t operate without a co-ordinator.

“The presence of a co-ordinator is part of the requirements set down by the county in its assistance.

“This service is vital. There are still 27 per cent of people in and around Burgh who have no access to public transport.

“They depend on this service.

“And we are quite generous in our remit. taking people to hospitals etc, even relatively far afield.

“We’ve eight drivers who are all very good, and committed to the cause.

“But we exist within the parameters that are set down by the local authorities and one of the first paramters is that we have a co-ordinator who can be contacted by those needing the service.”

Councillor Dodsworth added that the co-ordinator wouldn’t have to give up much of their time, merely be reachable on the phone via answering machine for anyone wishing to use the service. They would also have to co-ordinate requests with the volunteer drivers.

For more information, or to volunteer with the scheme, call Coun Dodsworth on 01754 810 866.