Transport scheme was first of kind

FLASHBACK: Our picture shows Michael Rate taking over as service coordinator of  the South Holland Voluntary Parish Car Service  from Paul Clark in May last year.
FLASHBACK: Our picture shows Michael Rate taking over as service coordinator of the South Holland Voluntary Parish Car Service from Paul Clark in May last year.
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CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Council Independent Group Leader Angela Newton

In addition to councillors attending meetings at the council chamber in Priory Road, Spalding, we are also appointed to represent the council on outside bodies.

I am the council’s representative on the South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Service and present chairman.

This was set up in 1981 and back then it was the first of its kind in the country.

We provide low cost subsidised, door to door transport to people in a number of parishes across South Holland.

The areas include Crowland, Weston/Moulton/Whaplode, Long Sutton, Gedney, Lutton, Spalding/Cowbit, Holbeach and Sutton Bridge.

Donington operates its own scheme from the Ruby Hunt Centre.

Volunteer drivers use their own private cars and journeys covered include hospitals, medical centres, dentists, chiropodists, visiting ill relatives, prescription collection and, in some circumstances, shopping.

The service achieved charity status in 2010.

Passengers pay the volunteer driver, who are all DBS (formerly CRB) checked, 35p per mile and the charity pays the driver an additional 10p per mile from the precept paid by the parishes.

The passenger has to pay a minimum charge of £4 for journeys less than 10 miles (there and back).

Passengers can also take partners or carers along with them.

In the last quarter from July 1 to September 30, a total of 2,113 passengers used the service and mileage covered was 48,259 miles.

The service is particularly helpful for people in rural areas and offers peace of mind where public transport is not readily available or user-friendly.

If your journey is to Boston Hospital, for example, the charge will be for approximately 16 miles (depends where the driver comes from) there and 16 miles back, a total of 32 miles.

The scheme co-ordinator is Greg Greene and he can be contacted on 01775 630144 for additional information.

Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07939559764 or anewton@sholland.gov.uk