Lancaster City Council is in discussion with a local operator to resume the popular Shopmobility scheme in Lancaster.
The scheme offered the organised provision of wheelchairs and other aids in a particular location to members of the public with limited mobility to help them get around town, but in March, the former provider of the service, Preston Community Transport, informed the council that they were unable provide the service because it no longer had the operators’ licence required to use its vehicle.
The service they provided in Morecambe on Thursdays and Lancaster on Fridays stopped running, to the dismay of its many users. Supporters argue Shopmobility generates substantial local economic benefits, through scheme users their carers and friends using shops and services which are otherwise inaccessible.
The council says it is keen to see the popular service back up and running and is currently in talks with a local operator, who have indicated that they are willing to consider taking on the service.
Subject to the agreement of detailed terms, it is hoped that the service will resume in the near future.
Preston City Council was previously funding the the PCT to the tune of £65,000 a year, according to documentation online (PDF) provided by the Competition Commission relating to a hearing about Stagecoach activities in Eastbourne.
• National Federation of Shopmobility