Charity wants more help for disabled
DISABLED people in Great Yarmouth could become socially isolated unless public transport is made more accessible to them, a charity has warned.Centre 81, which provides transport for the disabled, fears people with severe mobility problems will become housebound unless they are given a door-to-door service when they need to go out shopping and on other trips.
DISABLED people in Great Yarmouth could become socially isolated unless public transport is made more accessible to them, a charity has warned.
Centre 81, which provides transport for the disabled, fears people with severe mobility problems will become housebound unless they are given a door-to-door service when they need to go out shopping and on other trips.
Diana Staines, the charity's company secretary and manager, has called for a three-pronged approach to tackle the problem.
She said the first task was to provide help so disabled people could get from their front door to the bus stop, while the second was to provide more low floor buses in Yarmouth so the disabled could get on board easily. The third was to provide a service similar to Centre 81 which enabled the socially isolated to be part of the wider community.
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“The low floor buses I think would be great for a number of people in the Yarmouth area and therefore I think they would definitely be used and it would mean that people who have got concessionary fares would be able to access the buses with more confidence,” Ms Staines said.
She joined Tony Rozier, rural transport development co-ordinator for Community Connections, in calling for bus company First to provide more low floor services on its Yarmouth routes.
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Mr Rozier has been lobbying after discovering Yarmouth would not have any of the 38 new low floor buses First plans to add to its fleet over the next six to 10 weeks.
He wants two more low floor services in the morning and two in the afternoon in the Yarmouth borough.
He said: “As a number of routes in the Yarmouth borough are not served by low floor buses these would be extremely beneficial to the service provision for all.
“They would in fact enable people to use the bus who are currently excluded due to the poor access - steps, etc.”
Centre 81 employs six drivers and offers a door-to-door service for 600 people in the Yarmouth borough suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and diabetes.
The charity receives grant funding from the borough council and Norfolk County Council, while the rest of the money comes from fundraising.
Centre 81 needs more volunteers to help with its transport service; call either Centre 81 on 01493 852573 or the door-to-door service number 01493 332253.