A COMMUNITY transport service which is a vital link for thousands of passengers in and around Wiveliscombe hopes to get back to normal following crippling road works.

Wivey Link passengers have been late for hospital appointments and other engagements due to a batch of improvement works in Taunton.

Volunteer drivers were forced to set off for journeys earlier in an effort to get passengers, many elderly, from A to B but still struggled due to the volume of traffic around the county town.

But things could be looking up after Wessex Water last week finished off most of its £16million project to replace mains pipes.

Linda Featherstone, Wivey Link manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the road works have now finished and I’m sure our passengers will be too.

“The road works delayed us so much in Taunton and it is difficult because we do so many continuous journeys.

“We often drop off and pick up another job straight after so when you get held up it is difficult, because it has a knock-on effect and makes you late for the next job and the one after that.”

As reported in the County Gazette, months of road works caused chaos in Taunton, with traders as well as transport services affected.

Linda added: “People were late for appointments at Musgrove and in some cases things were missed. No matter how early we set off, our drivers were still getting held up at roadworks or in traffic.

“If you are late once, you are late for the rest of the day, but hopefully things will start to return to normal now.”

Wivey Link is a charity and was set up in 2004. Run out of the Community Office, it relies heavily on volunteer drivers and makes more than 7,000 single passenger journeys each year.

Phil Luxton, Wessex Water project manager, said: “We realise the inconvenience for businesses and road users, but unfortunately it’s part of a very big scheme we’ve been doing for more than two years and there have been some issues at peak times with traffic management.”