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Calls made to halt the axing of vital transport funds

Service users and volunteers of the RVS enjoyed a festive lunch at St Paul's Court in Alnwick.

Service users and volunteers of the RVS enjoyed a festive lunch at St Paul's Court in Alnwick.

A petition has gathered more than 600 signatures in a bid to stop Northumberland County Council reducing a vital tranport subsidy.

Volunteers and staff at the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) have joined forces in a bid to prevent the Get About scheme losing some of its funding.

The scheme supports 400 users in Northumberland, providing transport for people otherwise unable to get out.

But the county council is looking at cutting the amount of subsidy it gives to the service.

Roz Tinlin, RVS area manager for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham, said: “You are talking about nearly 400 people who wouldn’t be able to go to social events or appointments because they cannot get out. These people are vulnerable and elderly and it is more than just community transport.It’s a social thing as well. The drivers become friends.

“It will also have a knock-on effect. If people cannot get to the groups we run then they will suffer as well.”

The RVS runs groups in Alnwick, Rothbury, Wooler and other parts of the county.

Coun Ian Swithenbank said: “We understand how vital the Getabout car scheme is to people who use it. However, the council is having to review all its funding for transport in Northumberland.

“We are currently exploring all possible ways of keeping the service going and will keep everyone concerned informed.”

 

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