news

Lifeline transport service for elderly and disabled people is closing

Users say vulnerable residents will be left isolated when Community Transport stops.

Jane Peach uses Community Transport to make trips each week

A lifeline service which provides vital transport for hundreds of elderly and disabled people is closing due to funding cuts.

Community Transport, based on Chestergate, has been helping people attend medical appointments for the past 30 years, providing an average of 300 trips a month to Macclesfield residents.

But the funding for the service - for which users pay a small fee - has run out, leaving those who can’t afford taxis or use the bus stranded.

Jane Peach, 64, who lives on Coare Street with her partner Kevin Grainger, uses the service four times a week after she fell down the stairs and broke her neck, leaving her unable to walk. She said: “It’s terrible that Community Transport is stopping.

“It will affect so many people. This is going to leave vulnerable people isolated.”

The grandmother-of-two, who uses the service for physio and hospital appointments, said: “It’s a personal service.

“I know the drivers, they make sure you get to where you need to go, and then get home safely. I can’t work and can’t afford taxis.”

Geoff Dawson, one of the volunteer drivers, added: “People tell me that they don’t know what they are going to do.

“I don’t know how these people are supposed to cope.”

Boy hit by car on residential street in Macclesfield

Linda Chuter, manager of the charity, said the service was funded by Cheshire East Council until four years ago, but now the reserves have run out.

She said: “We’ve done all we can. It’s very sad.

“We give people independence. This will be devastating to a lot of people.”

Tony Graves, chairman, said they have failed to obtain funding from the council despite applying each year.

He said: “We’ve been trying to get someone to take on the service but we can’t find any funding or new trustees.

“We need someone to step in and take over the service. It’s a very sad situation after all these years and we’d love the service to be saved.”

Volunteer drivers take people from their homes to appointments at hospital, the doctors and other clubs and organisations.

The charity covers drivers’ expenses and running costs for the office.

The service, which supports around 100 people in Macclesfield, also provides transport for residents in Wilmslow, Knutsford, Alderley Edge and Handforth. Until last month, the charity also ran a minibus every day to take people to the day centre at the Mayfield Centre in Macclesfield.

Cheshire East Council said they were unable to provide us with a comment before our deadline.

View full mobile page