A new minibus which will provide vital transport to the community has been delivered to Letchworth following a successful funding application to the Community Transport Association.
The new minibus will join the fleet of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation who applied for the grant, helping to transport local people to social groups, local societies and medical appointments.
Colin Chatfield, Interim Chief Executive of the Heritage Foundation said: “This minibus will be so valuable to the people of Letchworth who without this service would be left unable to attend important medical appointments and social gatherings across the town. As our ageing population continues to grow, services like this will only become more important in keeping people active in the community.
“We’re very grateful to the Community Minibus Fund and everyone who has helped to make it possible for us to add to our fleet”.
Bill Freeman, Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association said: “The first round of the Community Minibus Fund has had an enormous impact on over 300 community transport operators and community groups and I would like to thank Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, and the Department for Transport for their ongoing support of the community transport sector.
“I’ve spoken to many members of the Community Transport Association who have received a minibus through the fund and I’m constantly inspired by the vital work they’re doing to improve access and inclusion in communities across England. Congratulations to Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation on their new vehicle and I look forward to seeing the enormous benefit it will have on their community.”
The minibus service carries out around 20,000 passenger journeys each year ranging from younger carers and school-children to older residents.
One of the groups that uses the service is the Grange shopping club, which was set up two years ago with half a dozen members going on a monthly shopping trip. The group has grown significantly in popularity since then and now runs twice a month as well as an additional monthly social trip, where the members go for trips to garden centres or to enjoy lunch together.
Malcolm Arnold, Fleet Manager commented: “Being able to run a shopping club is great for the members and many of them have become good friends. These people would otherwise struggle with their shopping trip using public transport and sometimes find taxis expensive. The new minibus will help us to provide an excellent service and make a difference in more people’s lives.”
To find out more about the minibus service in Letchworth, visit www.letchworth.com/minibus-service