The chairman of a charity that takes disabled adults travelling and can help them learn to drive has announced it will be shutting down its 'costly' transport scheme.

The county-wide charity Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD) has announced the closure citing the current economic climate and austerity as the reason for the charity scaling back its services.

Dave Kellett, the volunteer chairman of HAD said: “For many years, HAD have been able to subsidise our transport scheme by dipping into our financial reserves.

“However, in order to keep our other key services up and running we have to make the unfortunate decision to cut our transport scheme.

“This allows us to keep our other schemes afloat by providing funding for them whereas the transport scheme would empty our reserves too quickly.

“The two key services, an equipment centre and driving centre, are still doing well in the current tough economic climate, however, it costs the organisation too much to maintain the transport service.

“This is unfortunate because the people who can least afford to lose out are the ones losing out.

“We have no ill feeling to the local authority who would usually help us but austerity has left councils with less money to spend on services like ours.”

The transport scheme will now end in April.

However, Mr Kellett has made it clear the charity will still honour its contracts with local authorities and make sure vulnerable people are not left in the lurch.

The equipment centre and driving centre based at the Woodside Centre, Welwyn Garden City, and its satellite centres such as in Watford will continue to help older and disabled people maintain their independence.

Trustee Mike Thompson said: “We have thought long and hard before making this difficult decision,”

“The charity is very grateful to all of our customers that have used the service over the years, but I am afraid we simply cannot continue to incur the significant costs that running such a complex service entails.”