LETTER: Counting cost of transport

Further to your article “Mum hits out at ‘outrageous’ transport fee” [June 12], we thought it would be worthwhile providing some further details on Eastbourne Mencap’s costs in order to dispel any suggestion that the charity would profit from the instigation of charges. Unfortunately, even when charging service users 45p a mile, Eastbourne Mencap will still have to subsidise the bus transport costs.

Last year Eastbourne Mencap’s monthly transport costs for the day service was in excess of £1,600. Our bus has a capacity for only nine service users (plus the driver and escort), and even if it is not full to capacity every day, which often it isn’t, we still have to offer the transport service. So at the very least the actual cost to the charity per service user is in the region of £186 per month. Nevertheless, we are trying to continue to provide some subsidy to the transport cost hence we are only charging 45p a mile.

I hope this helps the community better understand the difficulties we are facing in trying to provide the best opportunities to people with learning difficulties.

Paul Durrant

Eastbourne Mencap

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