Swindon Borough Council has agreed to extend its contract with Swindon Dial A Ride for a further two years.
The new contract will run from 1 September until 31 August 2018 and will see a core Monday to Friday service operating between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm, while the shopping service for rural areas of the borough will be maintained.
The Council has been working closely with Swindon Dial A Ride to identify potential funding options which would ensure it has a sustainable future and mitigate the £100,000 reduction in funding agreed in February 2016.
The Council and Dial A Ride are exploring the possibility of setting up a disability concession scheme and an opportunity for alternative funding will be available when education transport contracts are due for renewal in two years’ time.
Cllr Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Highways and Transport, said: “I am pleased to confirm that Swindon Council officers and Swindon Dial A Ride have agreed a new deal which will extend the Council’s financial support by another two years.
“The new contract will minimise the impact on passengers, with Swindon Council continuing to subsidise the service between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
“Transport for people with disabilities is a topic that needs to be handled sensitively to avoid creating fear among the most vulnerable. Yet in recent weeks there has been lots of scaremongering about Swindon Dial A Ride facing closure or massive cuts to the service because of funding reductions. We can now show that these claims are simply not true.
“Swindon Dial A Ride can still run its own peak-time and Saturday service but the Council will no longer subsidise them.”