A NEWLY taken over taxi firm is working with a local doctor's surgery to provide free transport to the vulnerable and elderly to a Covid vaccination site in the district.

Galaxy Taxis, of Prudhoe, is working with Prudhoe Medical Group to offer transport to and from the Ponteland vaccine hub - an offer they insist will continue until all of the GP's priority patients have been jabbed.

The service, which has already served more than 40 people, is aimed at people who genuinely have no other way of getting there.

Galaxy Taxis, part of the PCL Travel Group, which operates a coach and mini-bus hire service out of Cameron Road in the town, was formally Sky Taxis, Globe Taxis and Lawson Cabs.

The firm, which was taken over in November, is due to open an office on Prudhoe Front Street in February at the former Cash 4 Clothes site.

Andrew Miller, who runs the company alongside business partner Peter Cowell, said: "We just thought it was, obviously, something that needed to be done.We never sought any publicity for it, we just wanted to give a little back. We were a bit overwhelmed by the response, we just thought it was the right thing to do, we didn't really think of it in any other way."

Andrew explained that owing to school contracts, coordinated by the council, and other day-to-day jobs drying up, the company were in a position to offer a helping hand and approached the medical group.

Andrew added: "People were saying 'it's absolutely fantastic you're doing this and I hope people remember this when this is all over with', that's not what we're doing it for, but if that happens, great. Sometimes you've got to do something - you can't just sit back and take all the good times and give nothing back and it's not going to stop, for as long as the medical centre are telling us they still need to send people, as long as its booked from them, it will continue."

The NHS has since contacted the firm with the hopes of expansion and they are in talks with Branch End Surgery, in Stocksfield.

Andrew added: "We're not just stopping with Prudhoe, if there's anything else we can do, we will. We have limits on what we can do, but we'll certainly be devoting our time and efforts to what we can do."

Coun. Gordon Stewart said: "'Throughout the pandemic there have been many examples of the community pulling together heroically, this is a fantastic gesture from a well-respected, local company which has been so well received by residents, another reason to be very proud of Prudhoe."