RESIDENTS in Earby are upwardly mobile again after a new minibus was handed over to replace a vandalised one.

The town’s community centre in New Road has had its own minibus since 2000 after residents and local firms clubbed together to buy a wheelchair-accessible 16-seater vehicle.

But the old transport suffered at the hands of joy-riders last February and a replacement was needed.

Now fundraisers have managed to raise £8,000 for the vehicle which has been supplied by Excel Conversions Ltd, of Doncaster.

Doris Haigh, chairman of the minibus committee, said: “Over the last 14 years the vehicle has done sterling service providing transport for a diverse range of community groups in Earby and district.

“During this time some money has been saved towards a replacement bus and during the last two years concerted fundraising efforts have realised some £8,000.

“The fund has been boosted by major donations from Earby Clarets, Earby Conservative Club, Earby Theatre Going Group, Trustees of Salterforth Inghamites and through the Barnoldswick Lodge of Freemasons.

“The minibus committee have also been working hard with stalls at St Peter’s Spring Fair, at the Colne Asda store, and organising spring fairs with community centre user groups.

“It has been a tremendous all-round community effort and the minibus sub- committee wishes to express thanks to all who have made this purchase possible.”