To: MPs, Metro Mayors, Local Authorities & Friends of Community Transport
Keep our communities moving!
At the beginning of August 2017 the Department for Transport sent out a letter which could have major implications for charities, community groups and public bodies that provide transport for their service users.
This is intended to settle how European regulations relating to passenger transport operator and driver licensing are interpreted into UK law. Whilst there will be a consultation in the autumn on exactly what this looks like, nobody should lose sight of the biggest risk that might result from this decision.
Many tens of thousands of people could find their quality of life and independence diminished by this decision.
This is not just about community transport services, but all those other charities and community groups that provide transport for their beneficiaries to participate in whatever their social purpose is- be that sport, positive and healthy activities for young people, tackling rural isolation and helping older people stay independent.
The government will say its hands are tied legally, and maybe they are, but the government is free to choose the moral and political stance it will take.
All the signs are that they will do the right thing, but to let them know how much support there is for them doing so, we asking you to personally sign and promote this pledge.
This is not about transport. It’s about the kind of country we want to live in and make everyone feel that they belong.
Why is this important?
I stand with all those charities and community groups that provide transport for a social purpose and community benefit. They enable people to live, learn and work independently, to stay fit and active, to access vital public services and participate in their community.
This type of transport provision is Britain at its best with communities doing things for themselves and it must be cherished, protected and nurtured.
I want the UK Government to work with its counterparts in the devolved nations to commit themselves to making sure that nobody suffers as a result of its proposed changes operator and driver licensing.
I want them to commit to fully understanding the impact of their proposed changes so they can decide whether all this upheaval is worth it and choose another path or decide how they can support those communities most affected, especially our most vulnerable and isolated citizens.