April 23, 2019
A new community transport service scheme will be launched in Perthshire to support vulnerable members of the community.
The lifeline service will operate in the small town of Auchterarder and help combat transport limitations by running wheelchair accessible vehicles so locals can get out and about.
The new service will provide additional support and cater to elderly, disabled and isolated individuals in the area. Particularly those who often find it difficult to make their own way to local shops and facilities.
A survey carried out last year, identified requirements of locals in Auchterdarder. The results prompted the need for better accessibility in the community.
The Auchterdarder Community Bus Group was brought in to make the new transport scheme a reality. With an increase in ageing population and a rise in social isolation in the area, the group proceeded with their efforts.
Perth and Kinross council has provided a whopping £150,000 to the project following the group’s application for funding. The money will be rolled out over a four-year period and used to operate services.
Chairman of Auchterdarder Community Bus Group, Andrew Warrington, said: “We were formed in response to community requests for enhanced public transport services in Auchterarder.
“The results of the 2017 community-wide survey identified difficulties accessing local health services and social isolation. We viewed this as an opportunity for the community to find transport solutions to these problems.”
Mr Warrington met with council members to discuss the new scheme. He said: “The focus of our group is community development.
“What we’re all about is trying to allow residents to participate in community life and equally get access to the services that most of us would take for granted.
There’s hope for even more funding to support the group’s services from the friends of St Margaret’s and NHS Tayside Hospital group.
Mr Warrington commented: “We enjoy a lot of community support, especially from the health service and the hospital, community council and our elected representatives.
“While addressing social needs is our key issue, the other benefit would be a reduction in the flow of traffic in and out of Auchterarder.”