A REGIONAL community transport scheme which provides vital transport services for people has been boosted by a £50,000 grant.
Swansea Council has approved the allocation of the funding which has been provided as part of the Welsh Government Regional Transport Grant.
The money is being used to fund a number of community transport schemes all across the region.
The schemes are run on a voluntary basis and rely on volunteer drivers to transport passengers. The majority of passengers are elderly or disabled and find it difficult to use public transport.
One of the community transport schemes benefitting from last year’s grant allocation is based in Pontarddulais.
The money, match-funded from the Western Valleys Regeneration Area Fund, was used as part of a wider collaborative bid submitted by the Community Transport Association Wales which enabled participating schemes to purchase new vehicles and improve co-ordination functions. This has resulted in a more efficient service and provision of more journeys for passengers.
The Pontarddulais Community Car Scheme received a new vehicle and software for scheduling bookings for transport, as did DANSA which operates in the Dulais, Afan, Neath, Swansea and Amman Valley areas.
Money has also been used to purchase a new scooter for the Neath Port Talbot Shopmobility scheme and, in Pembrokeshire, the PACTO scheme has invested in a new minibus.
Sue Miles, SWWITCH Coordinator for the region, said: “Community transport schemes provide a vital lifeline between home and places such as hospitals or even the supermarket. They are used by people who have difficulty accessing more regular forms of public transport such as buses.
“The funding is enabling established community transport schemes to expand their services and offer more people the opportunity to travel.”
Community Transport Association (CTA) Wales added: ” We are delighted that SWWITCH continues to recognise the valuable role our members play in delivering accessible, affordable transport solutions which bridge identified gaps in transport provision across the region. This funding will ensure that they continue to meet rising demand and the needs of people suffering social exclusion “
The funding was bid for by Swansea Council on behalf of SWWITCH (The South West Wales Integrated Transport Consortium) and was part of a multi-million pound bid for regional transport grant funding for the city.