Community transport for all coming to Bude
By Em_Williams | Saturday, September 15, 2012, 11:19
A new community accessible car scheme for residents in the Bude area which uses a specially adapted vehicle suitable for people with disabilities is being launched this month. The scheme, which starts on 20th September, is designed to help people access services and facilities where existing public transport or other local transport services are either unavailable or unsuitable.
The vehicle, which has one wheelchair and two passenger spaces, has been funded by Cornwall Council.
Driven by volunteers, it will be available throughout the year and can be booked for trips to anywhere from the local hospitals and doctor surgeries to schools and community clubs.
The scheme operates as a transport club whereby local residents can become members for free and then book a place on the vehicle by calling Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 265300. In all cases, car sharing is encouraged so that more people can be helped.
There will be a mileage charge to offset the cost of running the scheme, although the exact value of this is to be decided.
"Volunteer Cornwall are delighted to be involved with this brand new project and would like to thank Cornwall Council and our volunteers for their help in making this scheme possible" said Brian Smith, from Volunteer Cornwall.
"We are looking forward to running this ground breaking scheme, which we hope to replicate in other areas of the county. We are continuingly striving to help Cornwall's community reduce access and isolation difficulties in any way that we can. This is just one of many schemes that we are currently involved in and are always looking for more volunteers to help us achieve our aim."
Rural transport has been identified as a priority for the local community network and the scheme has the full support of the local Cornwall Councillors Phil Tucker, Paula Dolphin, David Parsons and Nigel Pearce who have been working with Volunteer Cornwall.
They commented: "This is a much needed scheme which will help transform the lives of people in the Bude area. We know that many local people find it difficult to travel around this part of Cornwall. Bude is at least an hour's travel from any of the main medical facilities, whether Barnstaple, Exeter, Plymouth or Truro, and this new community transport scheme, which is designed to complement local bus services, will help them to visit friends and family, especially those who are in hospital.
"Addressing the problems created by the combination of rural isolation and poor public transport has been one of the main aims of the Bude Area Network and we are pleased to have been able to work with Brian Smith, from Volunteer Cornwall on developing this scheme.
To register your interest in joining the transport club, for more information or if you would like to volunteer as a driver for the scheme, call 01872 265300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.