A NEW service has been launched to help people who struggle to access transport.

Ryedale Community Transport has received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to develop a Dial & Ride service for Ryedale.

The Ryedale Rover is being designed to address the needs of the many individuals and communities who struggle to access mainstream transport due to a variety of issues.

It is particularly aimed at people with special transport needs due to disability or poor mobility and residents for whom there is no public transport or affordable alternative to make their journey.

Ken Gill Chief Officer at Ryedale Community Transport said: “We know having been doing this for many years that difficulties in getting out and about in rural areas, not only restricts people ability to access ordinary services such as medical or hospital appointments or just a routine shopping trip or visiting friends.

"But also, the lack of transport options directly impacts on the quality of life of many residents; limiting their independence, increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness, there are sadly many examples of this following nearly of year of isolation for a great many residents in Ryedale.”

Users of the service will need to pre book journeys at least 24hours in advance, which will provide flexible transport for minimal cost.

Ken added: "The Ryedale Rover will be an evolving service which can expand and develop as demand grows. It is hoped that when fully implemented it will provide travel anywhere within Ryedale at an affordable price and will also serve popular destinations such as major supermarkets. The vehicles will collect you from your doorstep and drop you back at home."

Further details can be found on the website www.ryedalect.org or phone 01653 698888.