Cash boost for rural transport

COMMUNITY groups are celebrating after vital transport services in rural Essex were granted more than a million pounds to keep their vehicles on the road.

COMMUNITY groups are celebrating after vital transport services in rural Essex were granted more than a million pounds to keep their vehicles on the road.

Tendring Community Transport has been gifted £387,000 from the Government which will enable it to extend its essential support for disabled people and those isolated in rural areas.

The money came as a lifeline for the charity which was forced to cut back its hospital runs last year because of the overwhelming demands placed upon it.

Alongside the Department for Transport grant for Tendring, the Dengie Village Link at Maldon and Burnham on Crouch was given £840,000 for its responsive minibus services – money to finance them for the next seven years.


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The Dengie money will be a vital part of the continuing expansion of the service in the rural peninsular.

The funding for the two Essex schemes was part of the Government's £20million Rural Bus Challenge 2003 , awarded to a total of 42 projects throughout England.

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Yesterday, Theresa Coyne, chief executive of Tendring Community Transport, welcomed the grant and said it would mean new buses could be put on the roads.

She said: “It is great news – I cannot emphasise enough how fantastic this is. It just shows what partnerships between charities and the county council working together can achieve.

“What the money will enable us to do is expand the community transport services throughout Tendring's rural areas.”

Mrs Coyne added six other charity groups in Tendring would also benefit from the grant.

A bus service will now run to the isolated mobile homes at St Osyth and another one would be set-up to help people in rural areas get to hospitals and to their GPs.

Harwich MP Ivan Henderson said the funding was great news for the groups reliant on the service.

He said: “Tendring Community Transport have a wonderful record within the local community and everyone associated with them deserves tremendous credit for all they have achieved.

“Their future was in jeopardy before Christmas when I first took up their cause with Government ministers and I am delighted for them and everyone who is associated with them for this marvellous news.”

The applications for the funding were made by Essex County.

Yesterday, Rodney Bass, cabinet member for Highways and Transportation, said: “This is good news for people unable to access transport in the large rural area of Tendring.”

Transport minister, Tony McNulty said: “The £20m Rural Bus Challenge funding will bring real benefits to many rural communities which are currently not well served by public transport.”

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