Jones invites bids for £2m community minibus funding


Ministers have announced £2m to provide minibuses to community transport schemes in England.

Transport minister Andrew Jones invited organisations to bid for the remainder of a £25m Community Transport Minibus Fund announced two years ago.

The Department for Transport said the first round of the fund has already been allocated to more than 300 charities and community groups across England, and would pay for more than 350 minibuses.

Mr Jones with keys to a new minibus at Harborough Community Bus

On this basis, the remaining £2m will pay for approximately 30 minibuses, depending on their specification.

Mr Jones said: ‘Community transport is vitally important in helping get people to hospitals, towns and shops, as well as supporting employment and education. It is particularly important in rural and isolated areas, helping thousands of people across the country get on and get around.'

Successful bidders will each receive a 9 to 16-seater minibus specifically tailored to their requirements - such as disability-friendly access and adapted seating.

The second round of funding, which closes on 2 December, will be managed by the Community Transport Association (CTA), the membership association for community bus operators across the UK.

Bill Freeman, CTA chief executive said: ‘The first round of funding for community minibuses has strengthened the ability of community transport providers to provide accessible and inclusive transport, improving the everyday lives of people across England.

‘This second round provides a welcome boost for communities across England and we look forward to supporting operators who are planning to apply for part of the £2m funding.’

Organisations that received an award from the first round of the fund are not eligible for the second round.


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