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More community buses are needed for the elderly, pensioner claims

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THE elderly are left feeling ‘very isolated’ due to a limited community bus service, a Uttoxeter pensioner has claimed.

Enid Turner, who is a resident of Highwood Court, in Leighton Road, said the service offered by Mobility Link only offers the elderly a bus five days a week and they have to book 24 hours in advance to get the service.

The 79-year-old also claims there is only one bus covering East Staffordshire which means they are unable to book it to get back from an appointment at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital as they do not know how long they will be there.

She told the Advertiser: “We were told that if we get a taxi to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital it will cost us £25 each way.

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“There was a bus from Kingfisher Way but people cannot walk that far. This leaves us very isolated. We have one community bus that does not work weekends so then we have nothing.

“I am lucky I have some friends who can take me out shopping. I might be nearly 80 but I don’t want to sit in here for the rest of my life. I have never been so isolated in all my life since I moved here in March.”

Mrs Turner is now asking for the service at least six days a week.

Sue Gardner, manager of Mobility Link, said a car service is on offer for hospital appointments which will take residents to the hospital and wait there to take them back. At one time this was offered by the NHS through the ambulance service but now Mobility Link provides it through volunteer drivers.

She said: “We offer the bus from Monday to Friday, we did try doing it on Saturday but it wasn’t being used so we stopped.

“It is a ring and ride service and we take the residents to where they want to go like the doctors or shopping. They then ring when they want to come back or we give them a set time.

“The service does get busy and people wanting have 24 hours to let us know in advance.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver is asked to call Mobility Link on 01283 512705.

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