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Community Transport Scheme’s fees and charges to be discussed at Cabinet

Community Transport Scheme’s fees and charges to be discussed at Cabinet

Braintree District Council is considering increasing its fees and charges for its community transport service after external funding for the service fell by more than £15,000

*it will mean that a typical five mile journey could go up by 50p*.

The Community Transport scheme in the Braintree District provides affordable transport for elderly people, those with restricted mobility, those with a disability who may struggle to use public transport and those who have need which is not met by existing transport services. The service provided 51,192 journeys in the Braintree District last year.

The Council receives an annual grant from Essex County Council to help with the cost of running the scheme used by more than 900 people in the district, but the grant has been reduced from £105,541 in 2016/17 to £90,332 for 2017/18, a reduction of £15,209 with a further reduction anticipated for 2018/19. 

To help Braintree District Council maintain the service in light of this drop in funding, it is considering increasing fares and charges which have not previously risen for four years. Proposed increases fees vary from 0 per cent to 33 per cent. Currently the cost of a journey is about half the cost of using conventional transport services.

Speaking ahead of the cabinet meeting, Cllr Peter Tattersley, Cabinet Member for Health & Communities, said: “Increasing fees and charges is always a hard decision but the cost of journeys will remain a lot cheaper than using conventional public transport. We’re talking about an extra 50p on a five mile journey. If Cabinet agrees we will start a consultation with those who use the service later this month.”

If agreed by Cabinet members, an eight week consultation with members of the Community Transport Scheme will take place from Monday 24th July to Friday 15th September 2017 on increasing the fees and charges.