A COMMUNITY bus service that serves residents of north Shropshire is on the brink of closing unless new members are found, the man who launched the service has warned.

North Shropshire Wheelers Community Bus (NSW) predominantly serves the residents of Whitchurch and Wem, and a limited service resumed in June following a Covid-19 enforced hiatus.

But founder John Harrison is approaching retirement and NSW’s management will need new members – with warnings that it faces an uncertain future should no more volunteers come forward soon.

Mr Harrison launched an appeal earlier this year to attract more people to help with the service, and despite people offering their services to drive the bus, so far no one has come forward to help manage the operation of the scheme.

His continued concerns come following worries from Wem Community Cars’ co-ordinator Dave Becket, whose service is facing the same difficulties as NSW.

“We still have no one coming forward to help us in a managerial capacity,” said John. “It is with deepest regret that I add to the fears of Dave Beckett that transport for north Shropshire will take a nosedive in the new year.

“Covid has made recruitment something of a nightmare and we have had a couple of people come forward to drive but as I say the management of this scheme of ours has failed to attract interest.

“Phoebe and I have kept things going, we are, and have run a limited service right though this crisis of lock down period but we really need to retire and have decided to do so in the new year.

“We lost Jackie from our office after she took so very poorly in March and that just leave the two of us.

“I am happy to say that Jackie is recovering but it will be a long slow job during which period I will have to care for her which again limits the time I can devote to Wheelers.

“We have a good stock of vehicles that are ready to be recommissioned once we get back to normal but I regret to say that if people want the fleet to remain in Wem and Whitchurch they need to get in touch and express interest very quickly otherwise I can see they will be relocated or worse still sold off.”

To volunteer to help for the Wheelers, or to arrange transport, call John on 01948 880037.