Pen y Lan woman 'will lose independence' if service is axed

Published date: 25 March 2014 |
Published by: Rory Sheehan
Read more articles by Rory Sheehan


A WOMAN suffering with two chronic illnesses said the axing of a rural transport service is “stripping away her independence”.

Alice Eardley, 23, who has chronic fatigue syndrome – or ME – and fibromyalgia, uses the council subsidised TaxiBus service at least once a week to go to the doctors in Ruabon, hospitals or “just to get out and about”.

The TaxiBus service provides transport for the county’s more isolated communities that are not located on conventional public transport routes.

But the service, run by Wrexham Council with Wrexham and Prestige Taxis, is to be wound up at the end of the month as part of budget cuts.

Ms Eardley, who lives in Pen y Lan, said: “Like the pensioners quoted in the original Leader article two weeks ago, I called up to arrange a taxi a few weeks ago and was shocked to hear that the service was ending.

“I have to use the service as I live on disability allowance and live at home with my parents, who both work.

“I suffer from collapses and fits, so I am unable to drive and can’t afford a normal taxi.

“I am in chronic constant pain and fatigue so walking is most definitely out of the question. My nearest bus stop is two or three miles away.

“I am disgusted at the people in charge for cutting this service as I need it to get my medication and see my doctors and specialist.”

Ms Eardley added that many others will also be hit hard by the loss of the service.

The Taxibus is the only one of its kind in the area and between 55 to 60 people use it regularly.

A journey can currently be made by residents in qualifying areas to Wrexham or other approved neighbouring villages.

It covers rural areas such as Rhos y Madoc, Pen y Lan, Erbistock, Ridley Wood, Isycoed, Bowling Bank, Tallarn Green, New Brighton and Worthenbury.

She said: “It’s not just the elderly or disabled who are affected. I know people who use it for college, work and general food shopping.

“So many people are going to be stranded once this vital service is cut. We need something to be done.

“I am having what little independence I have taken away from me. So are many others who live in the rural areas around Wrexham.

“We will be stranded and unable to pay for standard taxis.”

Wrexham Council said the service is being axed as part of its £500,000 transport budget cuts, agreed by the executive board in January.

A spokesman said: “The council has recently set its budget for 2014-15, which contained £13 million of cuts to services for the coming year. Among those cuts was almost £500,000 of subsidised transport costs.

“There are a number of local transport providers who operate schemes for people with disabilities and will be able to help people affected by these cuts.

“The council regrets that it has had to make such cuts, however, the subsidised transport bill was one which could no longer be supported given the financial challenged faced by the council.”

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  1. Posted by: sheefag at 08:28 on 26 March 2014 Report

    Whilst the lady has my sympathy for her ailments, the centre of Penylan to the centre of Ruabon is 2.4miles. The Wrexham taxi fare shows this as £6.40 one way, I'm afraid that this is the price of living in the countryside. I'm not being harsh but being disabled is not the same thing as being destitute and I doubt the scheme was ever intended for people to, and I quote, [..... 'just to get out and about'.]

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