RESIDENTS are calling for a 'lifeline' dial-a-bus service to be saved from the axe.

The Tele recently revealed how the McGill's Connect&Go service which serves upper Inverkip, upper Skelmorlie, Kip Marina and Wemyss Bay will halt on January 12.

The company says the service is no longer viable due to a lack of passengers and rising costs.

But Joan White, who lives in Innes Park Road in Skelmorlie, is upset that the service she relies on to get about is to be stopped.

The 71-year-old said: "I can't tell you how bad it's going to be.

"Nobody likes to have to rely on anyone else for a lift.

"I struggle to walk but the bus would pick me up and take me to Greenock and Port Glasgow and back.

"It works beautifully and the driver is super.

"There's also a doctors' surgery in Wemyss Bay and I catch the bus to it.

"The driver definitely goes the extra mile.

"I like to be independent but it's going to impact on that."

Joan says the bus is a 'lifeline' as she struggles to walk following an operation to have part of her lung removed after a battle against cancer.

She also suffers from emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She said: "I couldn't cope without this service, I would be cut off.

"I would struggle to get up and down the hill with my shopping.

"There's so many elderly people who rely on this service."

Fellow resident Maureen Kelly says she and her husband are also disappointed that the service is to be scrapped.

She said: "At the moment we are fit pensioners.

"But looking to the future, when mobility could become a problem, the bus service was seen as a major consideration when deciding to buy in the area."

Archie Nicol, who also lives in Skelmorlie, is worried about the withdrawal of the service.

He said: "We will be losing a service that is really important to people.

"This is a great inconvenience to the disabled and the elderly who have to get to the surgery in Wemyss Bay.

"I'm not as fit as I used to be but the Connect&Go stops right outside your house.

"In the last year, this has been the best service ever - I can't understand why they would withdraw it."

Ralph Roberts, who is the managing director of McGill’s, says he sympathises with the residents but the decision to end the service was unavoidable.

He said: "We at McGill’s are as disappointed about this as the users.

"We really do take this personally but unfortunately, there isn’t enough revenue to even pay the drivers' wages and fill the tank with diesel - this is the harsh reality of operating buses. It is no different from any other commercial business.

"Cross subsidy from other routes has been how we have managed it up to now but rising costs, out with our control, have removed our ability to do that."