Passengers using a voluntary car scheme run in South Holland are being reassured it’s business as usual following a protest by NSL drivers also covering the area.
Coun Angela Newton is chairman of South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Service, which makes about 8000 a journeys a year, covering approximately 165,000 miles to hospitals, doctors, dentists, opticians, chiropodists, care homes and sick relatives.
She said: “We do not want our passengers to worry that they will not get the usual service from us.”
The service covers Spalding, Cowbit, Crowland, Weston, Weston Hills, Moulton, Whaplode, Holbeach, Fleet, Gedney, Long Sutton, Lutton and Sutton Bridge. A similar scheme is also run in Donington.
Passengers pay 35p a mile. If in receipt of benefits, the fare can be claimed back if it is a hospital/medical trip. For more information, call 07939559764 or 01775 762210.
Meanwhile, local NSL drivers say the are not happy with the response from the company regarding cuts to their allowance from 42p a mile to 40p a mile (for the first 10,000 miles) then 25p a mile thereafter to comply with tax guidelines. They are also paid 5p per passenger, but are not paid waiting time.
Allan Harvey said: “By doing this they are legitimately stealing money from the volunteer drivers. By being paid 25p per mile, the 15p that they deduct from the 40p represents a 37.5 per cent reduction.
“If they paid the 40p for the whole year and we had to pay tax on it we would not be paying it at a rate of 37.5 per cent.”