A NEW scheme which provides transport to essential services for wheelchair users who have difficulty using public transport is being launched next week.
The Broxtowe Car Scheme Plus is an addition to existing schemes in the borough which provide transport for people for whom public transport presents a problem.
The “plus” comes in the form of two new, specially-adapted vehicles to meet the needs of disabled people who need to remain in their wheelchair – a group of passengers who currently can’t travel with existing schemes.
Funded by Broxtowe Borough Council and supported by Nottinghamshire County Council and Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, the new Broxtowe Car Scheme Plus service is a fully accessible car service for residents in the borough.
It is run in partnership with the Eastwood Volunteer Bureau and The Helpful Bureau in Stapleford.
The launch is being marked by the unveiling of the two fully wheelchair accessible, multi-purpose vehicles.
The VW Caddys have been adapted to include a very large wheelchair space, which will accommodate large electric wheelchairs and even a small mobility scooter.
The clever conversion means that, except in the case of very large wheelchairs or scooters, there is also room for four passengers – ideal for family outings when a disabled friend of relative can now be included.
The cars will be driven by volunteers from the two bureaux who have undergone specialised training to a nationally accredited standard.
“These new vehicles will help give a new lease of life to many people with wheelchairs who until now may have been prevented from getting out and about as much as they’d like,” said Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s transport and highways committee.
“The fact that the adaptation means family members will also be able to accompany them is an added bonus.”
Cabinet member for Environment at Broxtowe Borough Council, Councillor Stan Heptinstall, said: “We are confident the new accessible car scheme will improve the way wheelchair users and their families access and enjoy their local town centres in Eastwood and Stapleford.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing the new vehicles in action and are delighted that funding secured by Broxtowe Borough Council will be used to make such an improvement to residents and visitors to the borough alike.”
Anyone wanting to make use of the scheme must first register with either Eastwood Volunteer Bureau or The Helpful Bureau. An affordable fare is charged for each journey.
l Both schemes are keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteer driving. Full training will be given and any travel and refreshment expenses incurred will be reimbursed.