- Government to provide more community minibuses
- Funding for 350 minibuses already allocated under first round of bids
Schools and community groups will benefit from £2 million for minibuses. The second round of the community minibus fund is launched by Transport Minister Andrew Jones, today (8 September).
This money, part of a £25 million funding pot, will improve the everyday lives of people in rural communities by providing vital links to medical services, shops, and social events.
The first round of the fund has already been allocated to more than 300 charities and community groups across England, and will pay for more than 350 minibuses.
Andrew Jones announced the funding in Market Harborough, where he handed over keys to a new minibus to successful bidders Harborough Community Bus. The minibus will allow them to provide transport services for elderly residents, people with disabilities and those who do not have access to commercial bus services.
Transport Minister Andrew 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.
“This fund is making an enormous difference to organisations, like Harborough Community Bus enabling them to help people participate in local life.”
The winners from across the country 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 opens today and closes on 2 December will be managed by the Community Transport Association, the membership association for community bus operators across the UK, who will provide advice to all bidders.
Bill Freeman, Community Transport Association 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 £2 million funding.”
Information on the application process, including an application form and detailed guidance on eligibility, can be found on the Community Transport Association’s website.
A full list of successful applications from the first round, sorted by region, as well as an interactive map showing successful schemes can be found on GOV.UK.