A LIFELINE dial-a-bus service has been saved from the axe at the last gasp.

The Tele recently revealed how the McGill’s Connect&Go service which serves upper Inverkip, upper Skelmorlie, Kip Marina and Wemyss Bay was due to cease operation on January 12.

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

But following an outcry from local residents, the service has been saved by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

It has provided funding to allow McGill's to continue the service on a 'trial basis'.

An SPT spokesperson said: “Following the forthcoming withdrawal by McGill’s of its ‘Connect & Go’ service which would leave some areas in Inverclyde without vital public transport links, SPT has stepped in and provided funding to ensure that it can continue, reflecting our commitment to make sure that communities in the West of Scotland have access to socially-necessary transport links.

“This temporary arrangement will be operated on SPT’s behalf by McGill’s, commencing from Monday and will operate on a trial basis as we gauge patronage and affordability.”

Joan White, who lives in Innes Park Road in Skelmorlie, says the decision is a huge relief.

The 71-year-old, who suffers from emphysema, said: "It's absolutely wonderful news.

"We really started to worry when we heard that it wasn't going to continue.

"Without it, we would be stuck up here with nothing.

"We are all so pleased and very relieved."

Local Labour councillor Gerry Dorrian said he had raised the issue with Inverclyde Conservative councillor David Wilson, who is the vice-chair of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

He said: "I took the matter to Councillor Wilson who went to SPT and they agreed to look at it.

"I'm absolutely delighted - I think it's a great move by SPT.

"The service is a great benefit to the residents."