Potential licensing changes for community transport in Devon could have a ‘detrimental effect’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 14 May 2018

TRIP's logo. Ref mhh 03-16TI 9641. Picture: Terry Ife

TRIP's logo. Ref mhh 03-16TI 9641. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Concerns have been raised about the detrimental impact that potential licensing changes for community transport could have on Devon’s vulnerable people.

Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and RideAxe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride

In its response to the Department for Transport’s national consultation on the licensing of community transport to comply with EU regulations, Devon County Council (DCC) has highlighted how the proposals could affect the county’s passengers and community transport operators.

If the proposals are introduced, voluntary and community transport groups will either have to achieve full commercial licensing standards or meet certain restrictions to gain an exemption from EU rules.

DCC says this could bring significant additional costs to the sector and may make it uneconomical for some groups to continue to operate.

It has warned that a reduction in community transport services may increase the amount of public spending required to maintain essential transport services for vulnerable people – such as elderly and disabled people and those in isolated rural areas without access to public transport. A reduction in community transport services could put more pressure on statutory services, particularly social care and the NHS.

Councillor Roger Croad, DCC’s cabinet member with responsibility for community transport, said: “The future of essential community transport services is at stake, which is why it’s so important that we lobby the Government on these issues.

“Many community transport groups are already struggling to replace retiring volunteers, and additional licensing requirements are likely to result in more volunteers leaving schemes.

“A smaller pool of qualified drivers could result in marginal services being withdrawn and vulnerable passengers losing out.

“In Devon there is already a local shortage of Passenger Carrying Vehicle drivers for commercial operators.”

Community transport schemes are widespread across Devon but they typically operate only one or two minibuses - and none operate more than 10 vehicles.

Community transport schemes which DCC helps to support includes TRIP Community Transport Association in Honiton, Axe Valley Ring and Ride and Exmouth and District Community Transport Group.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

39 minutes ago

Honiton’s high street was lit up with the lights and sounds of the carnival as a bumper crowd enjoyed this year’s procession.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:23

Coastguard rescue helicopter airlifts 71-year-old to hospital

Read more
Yesterday, 15:01

The money is shared between two worthy causes

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A village school near Honiton has been presented with its own Cross of Nails.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:01

Team works for eight months to reproduce Thomas Whitty’s orginal design

Read more
Saturday, October 20, 2018

More than 200,000 people lined the streets of Devon and an extra £4m of spending was generated when the Tour of Britain rolled through the county last month.

Read more
Saturday, October 20, 2018

Results of Parish History Society’s reearch to go on show at the parish church

Read more
Saturday, October 20, 2018

Don’t miss our weekly round-up of photos from our readers.

Read more

The parents of a Cranbrook schoolboy who died from flu in January this year are calling on mums and dads to vaccinate their children.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Midweek Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Show Job Lists


Find planning applications