IT is being claimed that new rules could make community transport schemes unviable.

Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North on Shropshire Council is fearful that costs may rise to an unsustainable level.

“Throughout Shropshire, and across the country, minibuses and cars are ferrying people to GPs, hospitals, shops and to meet their friends,” said Mr Boddington.

“The benefits are huge. Community transport services in Shropshire make more than 100,000 passenger journeys a year, with passenger spending averaging £30 a trip. The of community transport benefits in reducing social isolation and promoting wellbeing are substantial.

“But a threat is looming. A new interpretation by civil servants of EU regulations may make many community transport schemes unviable. That will harm rural and vulnerable communities across Shropshire.”

He said that in some cases regulations are entirely appropriate and necessary where they can impact upon safety but there are other examples where there are unintended consequences and he fears that this could prove to be the case with community transport schemes that provide a lifeline.