Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed two new minibuses for Worcester Wheels, the local Community Transport provider, the first of which was delivered outside the Worcester Volunteer Centre on the Tything last Friday.

Worcestershire Wheels has been campaigning for the last year in order to fund a new bus to help disabled and elderly people in Worcestershire. Although, the original announcement from the Department of Transport suggested they were only going to be able to receive one minibus they have since advanced their order and are currently waiting for the second one to be delivered in the near future. Both buses are fully funded by the Government through the Department of Transport’s Community Transport Fund. The Department for Transport has introduced a new national scheme for funding community transport and Worcester Volunteer Centre (Worcester Wheels) was one of the organisations who received funding for this valuable cause. The fully accessible minibuses will help Worcester Wheel’s volunteer drivers to benefit more people in the Worcestershire area.

Robin visited Worcester Wheels when they had first found out that they were going to have a new minibus and talked about the benefits this would bring. He was pleased to welcome a representative of the business who converted an ordinary white van into a fully accessible minibus to meet the needs of Worcester Wheel’s clients.

Last Friday, 15th April, Robin travelled to the Worcester Volunteer Centre to see the new minibus and meet with some of the people who have helped to secure and deliver it as well as the volunteers who make Worcester Wheels possible.

Worcester Wheels helps the local community by transporting elderly and disabled people to and from hospital appointments and taking them to social events in order for these people not to feel isolated due to them not being able to attend.

Alongside his welcome for these new community transport buses, Robin has also recently met with First Buses in Worcester in order to achieve a better bus service and to raise constituent’s concerns about their reliability. First assured him that they have hired more drivers recently to address problems with later running and that they have secured a new fleet of buses for the number 44 route. They are also increasing the regularity of services between Worcester bus station and Dines Green, St Clements and Blackpole.

Commenting on the new minibus for Worcester Wheels, Robin said:

“Community transport plays a vital role and I want to congratulate all the staff and volunteers at the Worcester Volunteer Centre who play such an important part in delivering it. It is great that the Government has been able to provide support with the smart new minibus that was delivered on Friday and I am delighted that there will be another one to follow. Buses can provide a lifeline for people in Worcester and I want to see the best possible bus services for my constituents. I am glad to hear that our commercial provider are hiring more drivers and I will keep pressing them to improve services in Worcester.”

Notes to Editors:

For the Government’s announcement of new minibuses for Community Transport see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-transport-minibus-fund-successful-bidders

For the press release from the WVC about the award of the first minibus see:

http://www.worcestervolunteercentre.org.uk/new-community-transport-buses-for-worcestershire/

For more information on Worcester Wheels see:

http://www.worcestervolunteercentre.org.uk/worcester-wheels/

For more information on First Buses in Worcester see:

https://www.firstgroup.com/worcestershire/plan-journey/places-interest/worcester