Concerns as Dial-A-Ride funding stopped

Arthur Horton from Aylesbury is not happy about the witdrawal of Dial-a-Ride services. He is pictured with his son, Paul Horton. PNL-151130-152111009
Arthur Horton from Aylesbury is not happy about the witdrawal of Dial-a-Ride services. He is pictured with his son, Paul Horton. PNL-151130-152111009
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A scheme which provides a lift for vulnerablepeople is to be axed after a council cut its funding.

Dial-A-Ride provides around 1,200 lifts every year to 250 elderly and disabled people around the Vale.

Arthur Horton, 89, uses the service every Thursday to get to and from Haddenham Village Hall which puts on bingo and entertainment.

But while he will be able to rely on family including his son Paul, 50 for support, he says that some members will be left out in the cold by the cancellation of the service which will end in March next year.

He said: “I feel that it is a bit of a disgrace really. Before this I used to go to a Thursday club run by Age Concern but that was forced to close too.

“It’s nice to get out and meet other people, and a lot of people rely on the service.”

Paul, who cares for his 
father at their home in Barnard Crescent, Aylesbury, added: “We will be able to manage but not everybody has family support, and not everyone can stand waiting for a bus.”

Last week service users received a letter from Dial-A-Ride to tell them the worrying news.

The letter, which explained that funding for the service had been cut from £76,000 to an unsustainable £29,970 by Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC), said: “As a consequence we have had to reduce the number of staff drivers to the extent that the service operates at an unsustainable level.”

Stephanie Moffat, of AVDC’s community engagement team, said: “Dial-A-Ride was invited to submit an application 
for funding in 2016/17 if it could demonstrate a more sustainable business model, but an application was not submitted and we have been told that they intend to close with effect from 31 March 2016.

“Officers from the district and county council have 
offered support to Dial-a-Ride to provide information, advice and guidance to its clients 
to identify alternative transport arrangements.”

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