Council will continue providing a ‘lifeline’ to residents in need of transport
Release date: 24 September 2018
Forest of Dean Council is reassuring residents that the Forest Routes community transport project, previously funded by the Big Lottery, will continue as the Forest of Dean Community Transport Partnership.
Over the last five years, the Forest Routes partnership – comprising representatives from Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC), Gloucestershire County Council and four community transport providers (Bream Voluntary Car Service, Lydcare, Lydney Dial-a-Ride, and Newent Community Transport) - has been of immense value to many residents, providing door to door transport, across the Forest of Dean District, at a reasonable price. This has made a huge difference for people who would have had difficulty using public transport or travelling by car.
Kate Baugh of GRCC who is the Chair of the Forest Routes Partnership comments:
“During the last five years more than 277,000 passengers have made use of the Forest Routes transport scheme, either using voluntary cars, Dial-a-Ride or community bus services.
“The scheme recruited 21 volunteers who provided training for 175 people, engaged with 1,172 people through community forums and reached 1,075 young people.
“This has been a strong partnership thanks to the efforts of the Forest of Dean District Council’s Community Engagement officer and councillors, GRCC, Gloucestershire County Council’s Integrated Transport officers and the Forest of Dean Community Transport service providers. They have all been integral to the success of this project, and it has been a privilege to have been involved.”
Cllr Alan Grant, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing and Planning Policy at Forest of Dean District Council, is also full of praise for the partnership’s achievements:
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has been involved in operating this extremely popular scheme – they provide an invaluable service to many people, some of whom are very vulnerable and might have been housebound on many occasions without the support of this superb partnership. Community activities like lunch clubs that were once struggling are now thriving, thanks to this project – it’s no exaggeration to say that it has offered a lifeline to many users and I am very pleased that the partners will be continuing to help people in this way.”
The Council’s Transport Champion Cllr Clive Elsmore adds:
“Although the lottery funding has come to a close, it is clear that this is a scheme we should continue because it benefits such a wide range of users. I am very pleased that this service will continue as the Forest of Dean Community Transport Partnership, and I look forward to its future success.”