WINCHESTER City Council has backed a community transport service for at least another four years.

A new contract has been approved for Winchester Dial a Ride, run by Winchester Area Community Action (WACA).

The service provides door-to-door daily transport for both city and rural residents who have difficulty travelling or are unable to use public transport.

Two minibuses provide trips to the city centre or other shopping destinations while two smaller vehicles are driven by volunteers to help wheelchair In 2011/2012 there were 571 registered users of the scheme with 12,251 trips made, 1,308 of which were by wheelchair users.

It is joint-funded by both city and county councils who provide around £50,000 each.

A tender process began in summer 2012 with WACA retaining the service, which could be extended by another two years through an option in the contract.

The new contract will begin on February 1, 2013.