VOLUNTEER motorcyclists who deliver emergency supplies between hospitals have received a lifeline.

Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes (MCBB) have been given a new Yamaha motorbike from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The bike has been fitted out with panniers, flashing blue light and a siren and will replace one of the ageing bikes in the charity’s fleet of eight.

Riders transport urgently needed blood, donor breast milk, drugs, human tissues and organs between hospitals, hospices and blood transfusion units.

The team works round the clock and the speed of delivery they offer often buys life-saving time for patients in critical conditions.

The service is staffed entirely by volunteers, who also fundraise to cover all the operational costs, and saves the NHS thousands of pounds from having to deliver supplies by ambulance or taxi.

Dad-of-two Simon Dennett, from Farnworth in Widnes, one of the 60 volunteer riders and vice chairman of MCBB, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“The bikes are serviced for free by volunteer mechanics, but we have to buy the parts and on the older bikes this can be incredibly expensive.

“This new bike will be more reliable and save us money.

"By using motorcycles our riders can drastically reduce the time taken to test samples in readiness for diagnosis.

"As our service is 100 per cent free the cost saving over the year is phenomenal with all savings going back into patient care."

In 2017 the charity completed 6,000 jobs w hich saved the NHS around £250,000.

Volunteers from MBCC joined staff at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for the official unveiling of the motorcycle that will be used, among other things, to transport urgent deliveries of chemotherapy drugs and small pieces of equipment for the specialist cancer hospital in Wirral.

The new bike was formally handed over to the charity by foundation trustee Vincent Fairclough.