ISOLATED bus users could be saved by a new service after a campaign was launched to find alternative transport.

Passengers in rural Furness villages have faced disruption in the two weeks since they lost their number 7 bus, which runs from Haverigg down the coast to Barrow via Askam and the surrounding villages.

But a solution could be found, with Councillor Ben Shirley canvassing opinion among bus users about a potential replacement service.

He is asking residents how they much they used the old #7 bus, which was cut by Stagecoach because it was not financially viable to run.

Cllr Shirley's hope is to launch a community mini-bus service with the help of the Community Wheels scheme run by Cumbria County Council.

Cllr Shirley, who represents Dalton North on Cumbria County Council said: "This is start of work to get something back up and running for people in Askam.

"It will go a long way to help them out.

"Bringing something back will help reduce social isolation and allow people to carry out independent lives, getting to appointments, visiting friends and going shopping."

The Community Wheels scheme would see a mini-bus take passengers to their chosen destinations around twice a week.

It would rely on volunteer drivers and people are being sought to take part.

It would be financially subsidised by the county council.

Mr Shirley said it would be difficult to see the plans through but was "very optimistic".

Lawrence Baines, 85, from Askam, said he had to rely on trains since the bus was cut and was pleased by the plans.

He said: "I think it would be a great idea. I need a bus to Barrow because I have a bad back and is too much to walk to and from the train station."

Sandra Hadwick, a member of Askam and Ireleth Parish Council, backed the plans.

She said: "We need something to replace the bus service that we have lost.

"This is a big issue in the village at the moment.

"Elderly people need a way of being able to get out of the village - they cannot get the train because they have much further to walk from the train station to where they want to go."