Transport grant helps charity buy wheelchair

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AGE CONCERN Eastbourne is among a number of groups in East Sussex which will be benefiting from a one-off grant to help towards community transport.

The charity is using the money to buy a wheelchair, which is accessible for a mini-bus as Age Concern Eastbourne looks to develop its regular shopping transport services.

East Sussex County Council is investing to help more residents travel on community transport services in their local area.

The council has now allocated part of a one-off government grant of £171,000 towards encouraging community transport schemes in the region.

Community transport providers across the county will benefit with awards totalling £91,592 from the first round of bids. This will enable them to develop and improve services and establish a lasting benefit for their communities. The closing date for the second round of bids falls next Monday, November 28.

County-wide, one of the grants has gone to ESDA Coach Services Ltd to modify one of their vehicles to reduce exhaust emissions. Sussex Community Raily Partnership is putting together a new line group partnership for communities along the rail line between Seaford and Brighton. And Cuckmere Community Bus Ltd are adding a new service between Polegate Station and Hertsmonceux as part of the cash bonanza.

Councillor Carl Maynard, Lead Cabinet Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “This investment will help people travel across the county and gain access to the shops and services they need.

“People in East Sussex have told us this is one of their top priorities – getting access to better public transport services. We have been working with our community transport providers to help them with their valuable work, providing innovative and sustainable solutions to local transport problems

“Over the past few years we have been working with our partners in the community and voluntary sector to help local communities identify transport solutions to local needs, including providing funding to kick-start new schemes. We have also produced a DVD for those interested in volunteering or starting a new service and an online map so people who need to travel can find community transport near them.”

l An interactive map showing community transport services can be found at: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/communitytransport.

Community transport providers interested in finding out more about how to apply for a one-off grant should contact Katherine Emery on 01273 335397 or via email: katherine.emery@eastsussex.gov.uk

For a copy of a leaflet listing community transport services in the county, contact the passenger transport team on 01273 335080 or write to: Passenger Transport, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UE.