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Cuts to Dial A Lift Rural Transport

An elderly woman looking out of her front room window

 

On the 11/03/2015 the DART Partnership was notified by the Department of Regional Development (DRD) of the scale and scope of public sector funding cuts for 2015-2016 after the Minister Danny Kennedy had agreed the Departmental budget for the next financial year.

In real terms the grant available to the RCTP’s to deliver Dial-A-Lift services in rural areas of N.Ireland has been reduced from £3.6M (the amount of grant available in 2014/2015) to £2.4M for the next financial year 2015/2016.

DART is extremely disappointed at the substantial reduction in grant funding available to deliver essential Dial-A-Lift services moving forward from 01 April 2015.

The cuts announced by DRD will have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable, rurally isolated and those with mobility difficulties and will greatly increase the potential for increased social exclusion throughout rural areas of N.Ireland.

In real terms across Northern Ireland the cuts announced amount to potentially 82,000 essential Dial-A-Lift journeys to often vulnerable and rurally isolated individuals being removed from the transport network in rural areas.

Faced with such reductions to RTF grant and in an effort to protect the viability of the DART Partnership as a viable service provider moving forward, the following measures are being implemented by DART from 01 April 2015.

• There will be a nominal increase on fares for users of the Dial-A-Lift service of between 50p and £1 per trip.
• There will be a managed reduction in the amount of service available across Craigavon & Banbridge in line with the budget available – this will mean that there may be less opportunity to travel, more restricted travel times and a focus on journey sharing with other scheme users.
• DART will collectively lobby for grant to be restored to maintain rural community transport services to our members in our area of benefit and throughout N.Ireland.

Throughout these challenging and difficult times all DART will endeavour (as much as possible) to protect essential rural transport services within the recent constraints imposed upon us by the Department through the recently announced public sector funding cuts.

Link to press release provided below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/io0o1efoytiirrx/CTNNI%20Press%20Release%20230315.pdf?dl=0

TRANSPORT SUPPORT TO GROUPS WORKING WITH OLDER PEOPLE

ICONNECT Transport Banner

What is the ICONNECT voucher scheme?

The ICONNECT voucher scheme will provide community groups organisations with annual funding support towards transport costs for eligible groups working with older people in the Craigavon and Banbridge council areas.

All trips must be completed by the 31/10/2015 along with any forms (including feed-back).

The ICONNECT voucher scheme provides subsidised transport for community groups/voluntary organisations that are non profit making, with the majority of their members being classified as older people over 60 deemed to be at risk.

(1.2) Scheme area

The scheme applies to groups whose base is within the Craigavon and Banbridge council areas.

(1.3) Applying for project support through a transport vouchers

Applications will be invited from eligible community groups/voluntary organisations. Successful applicants will be issued with a transport voucher to assist with the transportation of older persons to an activity centre or for a number of outings during the funding period November 1st 2014-to 31st November 2015.

  • are aimed towards services for older persons over 60 deemed to be ‘at risk’
  • are non profit making

N.B: the applying organisations need not be constituted, however, for application scoring purposes it will be of benefit to the group if they have completed this formal process.

(2)VOUCHER CONDITIONS

1.Vouchers will be approved by a panel of community representatives from the DART partnership. Please see complaints procedures below if you wish to appeal DART’s decision.

2.Vouchers will be issued during three project rounds and will have an expiry date. Any unused vouchers should be returned promptly to DART partnership after the expiry date. The expiry date shall be 31st October 2015.

3.All travel arrangements will be made between the community group/voluntary organisation and DART.

4.Please note a £30 membership fee is automatically deducted from the voucher, this membership lasts for one year and entitles the receiving organization to continue using DART services, at regular costs after the ICONNECT project ceases.

5.In the event of a group arranging a trip and subsequently not travelling, any associated costs levied by DART will be the sole responsibility of the group/organisation unless the group/organisation contacts DART at least 48 hours in advance of the date of the trip if a cancellation is appropriate.

6.It must be remembered that vouchers can only be used to subsidise transport costs provided through the DART Partnership utilizing DART vehicles and personnel and only where the trip/s has actually taken place.

7.Any damage caused by a member(s) of a group subsidised by the voucher scheme will be the sole responsibility of the member or the group and is a matter between DART and the individual or group concerned.

8.Any anti-social behaviour or any other misbehaviour is a matter for DART and the group/member(s) concerned.

9.A copy of terms & conditions will be provided to each community group/voluntary organisation as part of an ‘information pack’ and sent out with each application form requested.

Transport Support For Older People at Risk

Round 3 of ICONNECT voucher scheme now open for applications from Craigavon and Banbridge based groups.

Down Armagh Rural Transport (DART) Partnership’s ICONNECT project is now open for Final Round Y3 applications from groups working with older people in the Craigavon & Banbridge council areas.

The ICONNECT voucher scheme is a transport voucher scheme which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF)

The project aims to increase access to transport support for over 60s’ groups who work with older people at risk of exclusion and isolation.

In addition the ICONNECT project aims to enhance older people’s quality of life through the provision of training and volunteering opportunities for older people.

Eligible groups will receive subsidised transport support for their travel needs as well as access to FREE and fully accredited volunteers training programs.

If you work with older people at risk and are finding accessible transport availability or cost an issue for your group or project – please apply now as demand is expected to be high.

 

TRANSPORT SUPPORT FOR OLDER GROUPS

Round 2 of ICONNECT final call – open for applications from Craigavon and Banbridge based groups working with older persons.

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 ICONNECT project – now open for Round 2 applications from groups working with older people in the Craigavon & Banbridge council areas.

The ICONNECT voucher scheme is a transport voucher scheme which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF)

The project aims to increase access to transport support for over 60s’ groups who work with older people at risk of exclusion and isolation.

In addition the ICONNECT project aims to enhance older people’s quality of life through the provision of training and volunteering opportunities for older people.

Eligible groups will receive subsidised transport support for their regular travel needs throughout the year as well as access to FREE and fully accredited volunteer training programs.

If you work with older people at risk and are finding accessible transport availability or cost an issue for your group or project – please apply now as demand is expected to be high.

For application packs for Round 2 please contact Ian or Alan, at Down Armagh Rural Transport Partnership, 38317810 or email ian@dartpartnership.org.uk.

Please note project terms and conditions apply. Closing date for applications is 29/01/2014.