Good news for Community Transport in Gloucestershire
by Jenny Bright
Manager, Green Community Travel
We’ve had some really, overwhelmingly good news at Green Community Travel recently! Last year, we met with the new leader of our Local Authority and explained the difficulties that we’re facing as an organisation at the moment, including funding and the uncertainty of the current debate around the use of section 19 permits. The previous leader had stood down around the time that the Government’s consultation was taking place, so we wanted to ensure that the new leader was aware of the potential issues.
At Green Community Travel, we don’t have a bus replacement fund and, as some of our vehicles are up to 12 years old, we’re finding that maintenance and repair bills are increasing. We knew that in the next couple of years we would have to remove these vehicles from the fleet if we couldn’t replace them, and this would have had a really negative effect on our passengers and other users.
After our meeting, the Council Leader, Cllr Toby Savage, spoke to the Local Authority and they applied to the West of England Joint Committee for some funding from their Local Growth Fund. Just before Christmas we were delighted to find out that this had been successful!
We were thrilled to receive £800,000 from the fund, which will be divided between fellow supported CT providers: Four Towns and Vale Link Transport and Kingswood Community Transport. This funding is going to have a huge impact on our work! It’s going help us replace our vehicles and continue to provide the services on which so many people in our community rely on.
In an article for the Yate and Sodbury Voice about the funding, Cllr Savage said “I am proud to see this funding go towards new vehicles across South Gloucestershire. This is the largest single ever investment in our community transport fleet and is testament to the value the administration attaches to community transport and the role it provides across the district.”
It’s really lovely to have this support from our local authority; they are well informed about the work that we do and the benefit to our local area as well as wider society. Words can’t really describe what this means to Green Community Travel and our passengers.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.