Community transport in line for continued council funding

By Phil Stoneham   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 8th June 2022 4:00 pm
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COMMUNITY transport organisers in Tavistock and Okehampton are in line for a cash boost following their work with vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials at West Devon Borough Council say the Okehampton District Community Transport Group and Tavistock Ring and Ride schemes ‘have seen volunteer drivers continue to offer vital transport throughout the pandemic and beyond.

‘These services enable residents to maintain their independence and dignity and to also continue to live in their own homes while alleviating isolation and loneliness,’ said the council report.

The organisations are two of nine ‘key partners’ up for continued financial support from the council when a funding agreement finishes at the end of the year. Councillors are looking at extending the funding. Councillors have been told from January to March, Okehampton Community Car Scheme carried 706 passengers, 22 of whom were people in wheelchairs. A report says during this period, 1,214 passenger journeys were undertaken, the majority being for health-related appointments.

It adds: ‘Tavistock and District Ring and Ride are seeing numbers of users continuing to increase although it has been a challenge to build confidence of service users to begin travelling again, especially the more vulnerable groups that the service is aimed at.’

The report continues: ‘Ensuring that our communities are connected with easy access to transport for our most vulnerable residents is an incredibly important element of supporting the health and wellbeing of the district as well as reducing the cost on statutory services of transporting individuals to essential medical appointments.’Other organisations in line for funding from West Devon Borough Council include the Okehampton Community and Recreation Association, Citizens Advice, the CVS and the World Heritage Site Partnership Board.

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