Cambridge Dial-a-Ride facing fight for its future

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 November 2017

Alan Edwards of Dial a Ride, Cambridge, which is having o find parking for its fleet of buses due to existing facilities creasing to be available. Picture: Keith Heppell

Alan Edwards of Dial a Ride, Cambridge, which is having o find parking for its fleet of buses due to existing facilities creasing to be available. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Bus charity needs new premises by the end of the year

celebrated community transport charity may have to close if it cannot find a new venue to operate from before the end of the year.

Cambridge Dial-a-Ride is fighting for its future after being told it would have to move from its current base on Coldhams Road due to redevelopment plans.

Professor Stephen Hawking is urging the city’s university to help save the charity.

Prof Hawking, who was involved in its launch in the 1990s, said: “Lack of suitable parking is a poor reason to close a service that has been such a boon to those of restricted mobility. I urge the university to help.”

Chairman Alan Edwards, 79, who has been involved with the charity since 2004, appealed for any businesses in Cambridge with the appropriate space to come forward and help.

He said: “I will not let it happen on my watch. We are a community transport charity company supported by the local and district councils. We transport those people who are unable to use public transport due to disablement or age.

“We celebrated 20 years of operating last year. We have seven minibuses but have a major problem coming up in that the overnight parking of our buses at [builder’s merchants] Ridgeons in Cromwell Road is having to end because of development of their site.

“We have to be off site by the end of the year. We have looked at a number of options but nothing has materialised that we can use to date.

“We have 400 people who regularly use our service. We may get a stay of execution for a week or a month, something like that, but have been told we have to go because the developers will be coming in. We need a place to park our buses and the cars of the drivers. We’ve been operating for 20 years now and we support the whole community.

“It it closes it would be a disaster. It will survive if I have anything to do with it and if it has to be smaller, so be it. We are just not getting the support we need in terms of a place to move to. Amazingly, a lot of people still don’t know what Dial-a-Ride does. We provide a super service.

“The local councils, the city and the county and Girton town charity, the Pye foundation and people like that have been extremely supportive.”

If you can help then contact Alan at camdar05@hotmail.co.uk.

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