Monday, 5 February 2007

Out and About – For Free!

More than 38,000 people in South Glos now have Diamond Travel Cards, entitling them to a wide range of free travel:

Monday - Sat until 6.30pm (later on request). Takes you exactly where you want, when you want, as often as you want. Door to door like a taxi. You phone and book your trip – there and back. And you get whatever other help you need - eg carrying your shopping in. All vehicles are disability friendly. Trips are free for Diamond card holders (there’s a £5 membership fee). The scheme now has extra vehicles - to respond to the growing number of people switching to this service. One user commented “It’s so much better than a bus - and so much cheaper than taxis. I go shopping when I like now”. The Social Car Scheme is even more flexible.

Alan Lawrance with one of the new Community Transport buses

Shopmobility loans out scooters & wheelchairs (from Yate Library) to use on the Shopping Centre, Tues & Fri 9.30 to 4.30 and Sat from 9.30 to 1.30. They will collect and return you to your car or bus stop. All free for Diamond Card users.

How do I sign up for all this?
If you're over 60, disabled or medically not allowed to drive...
  • Call 864 864 (or email to claim your Diamond Card (free bus pass)
  • Then call 312036 to join Dial a Ride
  • Once you have joined, call 312036 to book Dial a Ride or Social Car trips.
  • To join Shopmobility or to book a trip call 868178.
To make it easier, we’ll put all the forms here on our blog shortly - or call any member of the Focus Team and we’ll help you sort it out.

NEW from this month, you can get cheap train travel too! It gets you a National Rail Card at a discounted price of £16 - and that card gives you one third off rail fares.(and for disabled users a companion gets the discount too) Forms available from or from the Focus Team.

Could the bus tokens come back? The Focus Team went to experts to get it costed. It would cost £2.2million! We’ve looked at the figures and we can’t find a way to reintroduce them within the financial limits imposed on the Council. Nor can Labour. If the Tories can - they should say HOW. Even if they shut libraries on Saturday afternoons, cut funds available to schools, cut bus services and increase charges for home care - that's only £1m. So where’s the rest to come from?

Rather than promising the impossible, the Focus Team’s efforts are going into finding ways to help people who can’t use buses - e.g. funding extra disability friendly vehicles for Dial a Ride.

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