PLANS for a new shared taxi scheme to reduce traffic around York Hospital have been backed by MP Rachael Maskell.

The proposals, put forward by York Bus Forum and York Community Transport Group, would see patients who cannot catch a bus to their medical appointments get a shared taxi service instead.

John Bibby, a spokesman for the transport group said patients would then pay for it with the concessionary bus pass.

The group has called the scheme a "HospiBus" service.

Mr Bibby said: "We hope initially to get some start-up funding from York's Better Buses Fund instead of the current £200,000 plan to change the traffic lights on Wigginton Road.

"The HospiBus plan will provide a real service and will reduce congestion and the need for more parking at the hospital."

Mrs Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, said: “Community transport provides vital services for people requiring access to services and can be a lifeline to people to help them to get out of their homes and to meet with others and maintain a level of independence.

"I welcome York Community Transport Group’s initiative to provide the Hospibus, to enable people to make their appointments at hospital.”