More than 80 guests attended Devizes PHAB Club’s celebrations on Saturday when Mayor Pete Smith cut the ribbon to inaugurate the club’s new replacement accessible minibus at the Nursteed Centre in Devizes.

The celebrations continued with 30 guests on Sunday at the Parish Office in Pewsey when Coun Jerry Kunkler, chairman of the Pewsey Area Board, and Coun Andrew Whitney, the acting chairman of Pewsey Parish Council, jointly cut the ribbon to officially bring the minibus into service.

The 14-seater Peugeot Boxer minibus, converted by Courtside Conversions Ltd for £36,000, has fold-up seats to the side of the bus to transport one person in a wheelchair.

It will also be able to transport shopping trollies for the shopper bus services provided by Devizes & District PHAB.

The group’s transport officer Michael Braund said: “The new minibus will operate in the Pewsey area and it will be more viable to run. it will also make the community transport services offered by Devizes PHAB more flexible as we have larger minibuses available from the Devizes area as and when required for trips.

“It is our aim to develop and increase the work in Pewsey and surrounding area with the minibus to be used by voluntary sector clubs as well as the residential homes in the area.

“We also aim to try and increase the numbers on the shopper bus services from Pewsey to Devizes and Pewsey to Salisbury and if there is sufficient support then other surrounding towns can be considered.”

In Devizes, PHAB transports numerous community groups including Arthritis Care, The Wednesday Club and the Tuesday Club to the Nursteed Centre.

Devizes and District PHAB was formed in 1977 and has about 70 members. Pewsey has been part of Devizes PHAB since about 1980.