Toomey Leasing Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of wheelchair accessible vehicles, is concerned that the viability of a number of community mobility transport schemes is at risk following local authority cuts after years of austerity.
Toomey highlights the case of one local community transport scheme, in Shropshire, that has had to announce its closure at the end of April because it was no longer financially viable and had been losing money for several months.
Toomey believes that more such schemes are under threat as local authorities are forced to cut support. The Trustees of the scheme in Shropshire had spent time sourcing new ways of funding, but none proved viable. The scheme, which was first launched in 2000, had provided transport for hundreds of pensioners and vulnerable people who otherwise would have found it difficult to get about.
All of the scheme’s minibuses, says Toomey, are wheelchair accessible and also were equipped to help people who struggled with steps. It was particularly useful for people with hospital appointments who wanted to avoid the stresses of meeting public transport deadlines.
Three part-time volunteer drivers will no longer be required.
Many community transport schemes have no or little financial support from the local authorities, but hire their vehicles to councils and charities. With reduced spending, comes less money for such things as vehicle hire, so income drops leading to financial problems.
Mr Martin Rowe, a director of contract hire and leasing group Toomey Leasing, said:
“In many ways we are going backwards in what local authorities and communities have been trying to provide for people with reduced mobility. The advances made at the turn of the century are in danger of being reversed because of spending pressures. It is a real shame if community transport schemes start to fail and people are once again stuck in their homes.”
Toomey Leasing Group is one of the country’s most active suppliers of quality wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Further information can be found by visiting the Toomey website or calling them on 0800 091 4252.
Toomey Leasing Group is one of the UKs biggest independent vehicle leasing companies. It has years of experience in the car leasing market and works hard to provide its clients with the latest expert advice on all the areas involved in both personal and commercial vehicle financing.
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