Public transport - where everybody matters - we'll see (October 17, 2009)
PUBLIC transport is a key concern of the elderly and the recent changes in local government could see OAPs lose a subsidy.
The new Wiltshire Council is now facing up to the differences in
policy that existed between the various district councils that were
taken over in June.
Over the years Warminster residents have long enjoyed a series of
transport subsidies for local buses and taxis to top up anything the
government of the day provides.
This is to be one of the first consultations that the three-month-old authority undertakes in West Wiltshire.
The new unitary authority will either have to adapt and adjust the
current schemes introduced in five local towns and scores of
villages in the 1990s or solely rely on the Wiltshire Bus Pass Plus.
In Warminster the taxi vouchers are worth currently thirty pounds a year.
"This is going to be an unusual one to call," said former WWDC
Paul Macdonald who was a supporter of the scheme when it was introduced.
"The OAPs in my extensive experience really appreciate the use of
a taxi to return from their special shopping trips," explained Paul.
"With so many of the really local shops like the Boreham and Fore
Street Post Offices closed getting the occasional heavy shop home by
taxi is a godsend."
"I also know that there is that emergency situation where the taxi
vouchers are used to get to see a relative in hospital," recalls Paul
"As this invariably means a trip to places like Bath or Salisbury
until relatives can react and help out these vouchers are real bonus."
It has been decided that the Wiltshire Council cabinet will take a
decision on this in November so the deadline for responses is 30th
Steve Dancey added: @Bus passes are fine but what happens if for example you live in Corsley and cannot manage to step on the old style mini-buses in use on service 53?
''Plenty of older people are unable to access buses - perhaps they are not on a route - so this will provide an early test to find out whether the strapline 'where everybody matters' has any meaning at all.''
They should be sent to Ian White (passenger transport) on 01225 713322 or email [email protected]
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