Tees Valley Rural Community Council has secured funding from the Department of Transport Community Mini Bus fund for two 16-seater accessible minibuses to enhance transport links for rural communities.
The buses will assist more than 500 people from villages across the Tees Valley where bus subsidy cuts are having a significant impact, particularly on younger and older people who may not have access to a car.
The transport will support local communities and the people who live in them, through group travel to access otherwise unobtainable services or leisure events. The buses may also be used for other voluntary organisations to transport clients to and from social activities or training events.
Andrew Lewis, Managing Director of Tees Valley Combined Authority (the new Transport Authority for the Tees Valley), said: “Access to transport is vital to support every community to thrive. Losing the bus service has a particularly severe impact on rural communities and I therefore congratulate the Tees Valley Rural Community Council for having secured this vital lifeline.”
Rita Lawson, Chief Executive of Tees Valley Rural Community Council, added: “Tees Valley Rural Community Council has successfully supported the delivery of community transport for a number of years through various grant funding streams. The arrival of these long awaited minibuses now means we can take our community transport service to the next level and provide that much needed missing link to our rural communities. To help us in our quest to a successful community transport service we are looking to recruit volunteer drivers aged between 25 and 70 years. Support and training will be provided so anyone interested should get in touch, our number is 01642 213852.”