EXTRA funding is being given to community transport providers to help limit the damage done by cuts to commercial bus services across the district, says the council.

Malvern Hills District Council wants to invest an extra £15,000 a year in volunteer run services to help people continue to make essential journeys for health, leisure or more.

If the plan is approved it will take the council’s total investment in community transport to £50,000.

The council currently provides funding to several organisations operating community transport across the district, which includes anything from community buses and minibus hire to a community car scheme.

Councillors decided to act after First Bus withdrew services or reduced timetables on 17 routes across the district in September leaving some residents with difficulties getting to work or hospital appointments and others fearing they would be left isolated by the changes.

More than 5,400 homes in the district do not have access to a vehicle.

Cllr David Chambers, leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to put forward this additional funding which will go some way to addressing the problems caused by the recent cuts to services by First Bus. 

“Our community transport providers do a fantastic job and offer a vital lifeline for people abandoned by the commercial companies by allowing them to continue to access employment, health appointments and connect with their communities.”

Residents can visit communitytravel.org.uk to view community transport services in their area.