Portsmouth dial-a-ride '˜will close in two weeks' if funding isn't found

A TRANSPORT service for vulnerable people has warned it will close in two weeks if emergency funding isn't found.

Friday, 8th July 2016, 6:29 am
City leaders celebrating last year after creation of Pompey Dial Ride. It now faces closure due to lack of funding.

Pompey Dial Ride said it applied more than a year ago for £62,000 from a £500,000 fund Tory council leader Donna Jones she said she had set up for charities and other organisations.

But Tracey Jones, owner of Pompey Dial Ride, which helps people with disabilities get around the city, says she’s not heard whether her bid for cash has been successful or not.

And Mrs Jones said the company will shut down if nothing is sorted.

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Speaking to The News, Mrs Jones said: ‘We are running out of money and will have to close in two weeks if we don’t come up with any money.

‘I seriously don’t want to do it because I don’t know what will happen to all of our customers then.

‘It’s very worrying.’

Pompey Dial Ride was set up in April 2015 following the closure of Portsmouth’s original dial-a-ride operation, run by Pete’s Airlink, based in Waterlooville.

It closed due to a lack of funding and Mrs Jones, who worked for the service, then set up the new one so disabled customers would still be able to get about.

Portsmouth City Council provided Pompey Dial Ride £18,000 towards start-up costs as well as £17,500 for new vehicles.

Its office is based at the Beneficial Foundation.

Mrs Jones said: ‘I don’t think the council has turned its back on us, but I feel let down, mainly for the customers.’