Fuel hikes could threaten Dial a Ride service

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Volunteer transport schemes such as Dial A Ride are under pressure as drivers are hit by rising fuel prices, a Leicestershire organiser said.

Drivers have already called to say they may not be able to continue to volunteer, Lindsay Short of Bosworth and Hinckley Community Transport said.

"This could be a real problem because if we do lose drivers we won't be able to run the service," she said.

Volunteers use their own cars to transport people who need assistance.

Safety net

Mrs Short said they run a mini-bus service with paid drivers which would continue to operate.

One volunteer said the current diesel price of £1.34 a litre was simply too expensive for him.

Mrs Short said: "It affects our [volunteer] drivers as we can only pay them 40 pence a mile … that is not going to cover their costs when running their vehicles."

Ian Drummond, the county council's assistant director of transportation, said: "The council thinks this is a really useful service and is something we want to keep going.

"We are very keen to make sure the safety net is there for people who really need it."

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