CHRISTCHURCH residents who find it difficult to access regular bus services, can now take advantage of a new bus.

The Christchurch Dial-a-Bus scheme now has a 17-seater accessible minibus, thanks to funds from the Big Lottery Transition Fund, Bournemouth Airport Community Fund, Christchurch Borough Council and the Christchurch Community Partnership.

It was launched by the Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Sue Spittle, and Friends of Christchurch Dial-a-Bus as well as representatives from the various organisations.

The Mayor said: “I’m delighted that Christ-church Dial-a-Bus now has its own vehicle that will enable people from the town who cannot use normal bus services to get about to do shopping or go on excursions.

“This really is a valuable facility and I’m grateful to everyone who provided the funding for it.”

Sandra Prudom, chairman of Christchurch Comm-unity Partnership said: “We are hoping that the bus will become self-funding as we will be encouraging local companies to advertise their services on the side of the bus which will provide some income for Dial-a-Bus but also provide support for the Community Partnership.”

The scheme provides door to door wheelchair accessible transport for people with disabilities of all ages.

It operates for four days a week and can be used for shopping, banking, visiting hospital and excursions.

Information leaflets with details of excursions for the first quarter of 2012 are available at Christchurch and Highcliffe libraries and also at the Infor-mation Centre in the High Street.

Bookings can be made with the centre by calling 01202 471780.