MANY Ilkley residents are accustomed to seeing the blue minibuses belonging to Ilkley Community Transport buzzing around the streets, but may not have registered that one of them - Linda’s Bus - has recently disappeared

After nearly 13 years of sterling service, she has been taken off the road and replaced with a brand new fully accessible 16 seater Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which has been given to the organisation by the Government thanks to its £25million Minibus Fund, set up in December 2014 to provide minibuses to local organisations that, in the words of the Department for Transport “provide a vital lifeline to communities”.

John Jewitt, chairman of the voluntary organisation said no time was wasted in submitting a bid in January 2015 and the the organisation’s management committee were delighted to learn in late March 2015 they had been awarded a fully accessible 16 seater Mercedes-Benz minibus worth £74,000.

The vehicle was custom built to Ilkley Community Transport’s specification by Minibus Options in Whaley Bridge, Cheshire, from where John and Ian Padley, the organisation’s co-ordinator, were delighted to collect it recently. The minibus has since been sign written, and has taken up its role ferrying passengers from local community groups and older people’s organisations around the area, as well as on shopping trips to a local supermarket. Please watch out for it and give a wave to its driver and passengers!

Ilkley Community Transport is a registered charity based at Riddings Hall, Riddings Road, and as well as operating three fully accessible minibuses, also operates a car lift scheme providing lifts mainly to medical appointments for people who, due to age and/or disability, are unable to use public transport. All its drivers, passenger escorts and management committee are volunteers, and if you would like to learn more about how you could help them, visit or call Ian Padley on 01943 603348, which is also the number to call to make a minibus booking or to request a car lift.