A COMMUNITY transport charity has been given a huge boost after receiving two brand new minibuses to continue to provide life-line services to residents.

Somerset County Council is handing over the new vehicles - worth a combined £77,500 - to Minehead-based charity ATWEST.

The organisation runs the West Somerset Slinky service for residents who don’t have their own transport or access to a public bus service.

Cllr John Woodman, County Hall cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re really excited about being able to provide these two new buses for a vital service.

“I am sure this will make a real difference to people’s mobility and Somerset County Council is proud to continue to support community transport in the area.”

The Slinky service, run by ATWEST under contract to the council, provides transport for a range of users from parents with young children and teenagers to the elderly and people with disabilities.

The new 12-seater buses are provided by the council, while ATWEST provides drivers and takes bookings from customers.

It offers a demand responsive pre-booked service for important medical appointments, interviews, shopping trips or just visiting friends.

General manager for ATWEST Brian Worrall said: “We’re delighted to get these new buses, it’s a fantastic boost for the service.

“The ones we’ve got are nearly 10 years old and no longer as reliable as they need to be.

“This means we can continue to provide this important service to our customers in West Somerset to a very high standard.”