THREAT: Joyriders may have ‘written off’ Earby community bus

Doris Haigh with damaged Earby Community Minibus that was caused by joyriders.
Doris Haigh with damaged Earby Community Minibus that was caused by joyriders.

Earby community groups are braced for bad news after joyriders damaged the town’s minibus - possibly beyond worthwhile repair.

The minibus provides a vital service to several community groups in the town, and in particular for the elderly.

It was taken overnight between Thursday, February 7th, and Friday, February 8th, and was first involved in a collision with a parked car, damaging one panel and the side sliding door.

Then, on its return to the New Road Community Centre a short time later, the other side of the vehicle was damaged on a car park gatepost.

Doris Haigh, who co-ordinates use of the bus, said she is absolutely livid and fears the vehicle will be written off as the damage, estimated in the thousands, will outweigh the value of the 13-year-old vehicle.

It took four years to raise the necessary funds to purchase the minibus from new in 2000 at a cost of £32,000. A similar vehicle now purchased new may cost £50,000.

The names of three teenagers, all believed to be from Earby, have been passed to the police after owning up to the incident. Police are currently investigating the matter.

Doris said: “It’s crashed into a car damaging the passenger side door which makes it difficult for the sliding door to open. When it’s been brought back, it’s hit the gate post damaging the driver’s side.

“I think the insurers will write it off. To get something similar to the bus now - we just don’t have this sort of money.

“I’m extremely angry and upset. The people of Earby worked very hard to raise the funds for the bus.

“It’s the community groups that will miss out the most. If we don’t have the bus, what will we do?”