SOUTHEND Council has promised a new transport service for vulnerable children and adults will not result in any major disruptions to the existing service, but more changes could follow.

Southend Council has announced it has signed a ten-year contract to set up a joint venture partnership with London Hire Community Services to ferry adults and children with learning or physical disabilities around the borough.

It is a deal worth £1.8million and replaces the existing service which costs the council £2.2million and uses a combination of private companies and an in-house service.

Simon Leftley, deputy chief executive for people at the council, said: “We have written to all local users, their carers and the services they use, to explain the outcome of the recent passenger transport review.

“We would like to reassure the public that we understand the needs of the passengers who use our services and how some may find changes difficult to cope with. With that in mind we will try to minimise the amount of change and give plenty of notice of any unavoidable changes.”

These include home to school services for children with special educational needs and disabilities, supervised contact appointments for fostered children and respite care for disabled children.