Released on 23 March 2006 Archived News
Residents in south Warwickshire will benefit from a new scheme next month, which will provide vital transport links primarily for the elderly and disabled people. In a partnership project supported by Stratford-on-Avon District Council, 'Community Links' can help people who are stuck for transport by way of four new mini-bus type vehicles with full disabled access, which get their first public showing next week at the scheme's official launch.
The scheme is aimed at those who previously qualified for transport tokens (those resident in Stratford District aged 60 plus and/or with a qualifying disability); do not have access to a car; cannot access public transport because of mobility problems or live in a rural isolated location with no other form of transport available. The vehicles will be operated by two local companies - Cardalls of Southam, and Clarkes of Shipston.
"I'm very pleased to be launching Community Links as it will make a big difference to many people's lives in the Stratford District," said Cllr Gillian Roache from Stratford District Council, whose Portfolio includes social inclusion.
"Residents who are stuck for transport and qualify for the scheme will be able to telephone to book their place, they will be picked up at their door, taken to where they need to go and brought back home again. There will be a small amount to pay.
"It all goes live early next month and I would urge anyone who thinks they qualify for the scheme to get on the register by calling 01789 260122. This can also include people who may need to be on the register temporarily, for example because they are recovering from an operation.
"Our aim is to provide a very flexible service by linking it into other transport schemes such as those provided by the County Council and volunteer services. We've already appointed a coordinator for the project and I'm also very pleased that two established local transport companies will be running the vehicles."
The other partners involved in the scheme are the County Council and Stratford Volunteer Centre.
Cllr Martin Heatley, Warwickshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environmental Services added: "The scheme can be used to get to the nearest town for shopping, a visit to the bank, even a visit to a social club meeting if that is the only way a resident has of getting out there."
The new service is not intended for use as medical journeys, which are already covered by the Volunteer Centre Medical Journey Scheme. The target for the new service is to make 25,000 passenger journeys a year by April 2008.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575