A FORMER director of bus operator Stagecoach has become chairman of the Newton Abbot Community Transport Association (Nacta).

David Bray has taken the role left vacant by Keith Walters, who has stood down after six years.

Mr Walters, a Newton Abbot Rotarian who intends to remain an active trustee with Nacta, said: ‘I think it’s good for the chairmanship to change once in a while.

‘David’s commitment to community transport made him seem a fine person to take over.

‘A chairman has to work with our manager Kay Yendall on various day-to-day issues and draw trustees together to develop the policies we want to pursue.’

Mr Bray, who became a Nacta volunteer after retiring two years ago, said: ‘I wanted to put something back into society and was very aware of the isolation faced by older people and others.

‘Keith’s done an excellent job, taking the association through some difficult times and bringing it to a good place.

‘There are some problems ahead, with the changes to local government funding and its impact on the support for community transport.

‘Changes to wages legislation will also present a challenge so we’ll have to try and make extra funds from existing sources as well as looking for new income streams.’

Newton Abbot deputy mayor Cllr Liz Roberts said: ‘There are many people who are disabled or isolated and the services provided by the association mean that people can get out.

‘We just couldn’t do without all the help provided by volunteers.’

Nacta’s achievements include delivering thousands of passenger journeys each year as well as Shopmobility scooters, resulting in an extra £440,000 spent in local shops.

Recently Nacta has become a significant provider of daily living aids, filling over 1,500 prescriptions for the county council and NHS in 2014.