£2m of funding is distributed to 40 organisations around the UK
Community groups across the UK have been awarded funding to buy new minibuses through the second round of the Department for Transport (DfT) Community Minibus Fund.
In total, 40 disability, patient, children and school groups, including community transport operators, will get a new vehicle after winning part of the £2m fund.
Each of the minibuses will have a capacity of up to 16 seats and are intended for use in rural areas, providing links to shops, social events and medical services.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Community transport is vital for people in rural areas, helping them reach shops, hospital appointments, loved ones, friends, jobs and education.
“We have so far provided 300 minibuses in the first round of the £25m Community Minibus Fund and they are already improving lives of people up and down the country.
“These extra minibuses will give a further boost and make sure the public can access the places and services they want.”
This second round of the competition was run with the Community Transport Association (CTA), the membership organisation for community bus operators across the UK.
Bill Freeman, CTA Chief Executive, said: “The CTA was thrilled to facilitate this second round.
“These vehicles will make a massive difference to the people and communities they will serve, opening up access to educational and social activities, employment and vital public services.
“We are really pleased that this government has been prepared to invest in community transport in such a visible way and we’re already seeing the benefits of this from the first round of the Community Minibus Fund.”
The organisations benefitting from the second round of funding include:
- East Midlands: Disability Direct and Hadhari Project (both Derby);
- East of England: ASR Project and Families United Network (Beds), Bishops Stortford Mencap and CHEXS (Herts), Southend Mencap (Essex) and Boxing Futures (Peterborough);
- Greater London: Centre 404, Katherine Low Settlement and Edenham High School;
- North East: Age UK Gateshead, DERIC Youth Bus Project (Durham) and St Michael’s Youth Project (Hull);
- North West: Appleby Heritage Centre and Bendrigg Trust (Cumbria), Ykids (Sefton) and Manchester Community Transport;
- South East: 14th Canterbury Scout Group, Commonwork Trust, Ramsgate & Broadstairs Sea Cadets, Sheppey Matters, Tonbridge Baptist Church and Woodpecker Wood CIC (Kent), Action4Youth (Bucks), BACT Community Transport (E Sussex), Cancer United (W Sussex) and Test Valley Community Services (Hamps);
- South West: Bideford & District Sea Cadets, Community Equality Disability Action and Ivybridge & District Community Transport Association (Devon), Weymouth Sea Cadets and SEDCAT (Dorset) and Concern Wadebridge (Cornwall);
- West Midlands: 38th Walsall Scout Group and Dore Community Transport (Herefordshire); and
- Yorkshire & Humber: Boys & Girls Club South Yorkshire (Sheffield), Goole & District Community Transport Group (East Riding), Lady Lumley’s School (North Yorks) and St George’s Lupset (Wakefield).