Wheelers man slams government over concerns of role of community transport

Reporter:

Barrie White

A man who provides transport to those that need it has reacted angrily to a government inquiry into community providers.

John Harrison, from North Shropshire Wheelers, is also urging people to leave comments and answers to questions posed by the Transport Select Committee into grievances expressed by commercial transport operators this week.

Mr Harrison responded to the suggestion that community transport has ‘moved in unfairly on commercial run services’ to say it is the fault of government policies.

“The answer is no, but right or not it is not the fault of community transport,” he said.

 “It is the policies of this present government that have forced community transport to move out of its intended role because so much money has been taken out of Local Authority grants meaning that it is not possible to subsidise services.

“Here are) just two examples in our case: young girls were forced to thumb lifts on dark country lanes to get to further education because the subsidised bus route had been cancelled.

“One epileptic worker on minimum wage was forced to pay a £10 each way taxi fare, so I would ask you is that fair? Is that the law working for those people?

“Furthermore, I would put it to you that it is Her Majesty’s Government that should be in the “dock”, not community transport.”

People can make formal written submissions here: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/community-transport-online-forum/

Meanwhile, Mr Harrison has also responded to rumours that Whitchurch’s voluntary car share scheme is set to close by reminding people its community bus is available.

For more details, call 01948 880 037 or 07961 260 621.

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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