Warning over future of community transport
Community transport operators in Thornbury are warning that proposed government changes could threaten their future viability.
At present, local operators such as Green Community Travel, don’t have to apply for commercial licences, because they’re not making profit from their services. They use what’s known as section 19 or section 22 permits. In addition, they are able to keep training costs down by using the Minibus Driver’s Awareness Scheme (MiDAS).
But the government is considering changes in an attempt to clarify how European Union regulations should apply to the sector.
Green Community Travel says the unintended impact will be a requirement for commercial licences and commercial minibus qualifications. The cost could mean that vital services are forced to close.
Community transport services take people to hospital or GP appointments, and are routinely used by youth groups and organisations supporting people who are vulnerable or have disabilities.