How we meet individual and communities’ transport needs will be the priority for a new partnership…and local organisations are being invited to get on board.
Dumfries and Galloway Council, the NHS, and community organisations from across the region are set to join forces to tackle the challenges many people face accessing transport services the rest of us take for granted.
Sharon Ogilvie, spokesperson for Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, the organisation which represents community organisations locally, said:
“Given the dispersed nature of our population it is not surprising that access to transport, at times when people need it, is seen as an important issue. For those who do not drive or have access to a car, getting about when public transport is not physically accessible, convenient or affordable, can be a major challenge.
“This includes many older people, those with a disability or lower income, vulnerable people and many young people too. The evidence suggests that as a result many people in our communities become isolated and their health and wellbeing suffers.”
Sharon added: “There are some very good examples of community based transport but its funding by public authorities lacks co-ordination. We need to build on what we already have and explore new ideas.
“A partnership between community and public organisations will help us achieve this.”
Councillor Tom McAughtrie, who chairs the local strategic transport partnership SWestrans, welcomes the initiative:
“This partnership between the public authorities and community organisations will ensure that scarce resources are spent in the best possible way and that we recognise and support communities to meet their transport needs. It will be about recognising that social transport services for the most vulnerable in our community are designed from the bottom up and not top down.”
Local community transport providers are being invited to get on board and join in with the partnership. Expressions of interest must be submitted by March 1. Further information is available by contacting Sharon Ogilvie on 0300 303 8558 and can be downloaded from Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway’s web site www.thirdsectordumgal.org.uk/socialtransport
*The partnership will be formed as a Public Social Partnership (PSP), a model for local working promoted by the Scottish Government. An award winning PSP for social transport has been developed in Strathclyde and has proved successful.
*Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway is the region’s Third Sector Interface and represents the third sector on Dumfries and Galloway’s Community Planning Partnership.
*The move to form a PSP for social transport is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Community Planning Partnership.
*The Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee and the SWestrans Board will receive reports to their March meetings to progress the ongoing partnership work to develop a PSP model.