Merseyside transport scheme gets £1.5m European funding

Michael Hunt

Merseyside Transport Partnership's £4m Let's Get Moving scheme is to receive £1.5m from the European Social Fund.

The investment will add to the existing contribution by Merseytravel of £2.5m to provide supported bus services in the most disadvantaged communities.

Let's Get Moving helps people from disadvantaged communities who are having difficulty getting to places of employment. It provides clear, common sense information about the most convenient and least expensive ways of travelling to work and offers a wide range of advice and support.

The programme also bridges gaps between employers and other agencies, such as Connexions, Jobcentre Plus and the Learning and Skills Council to ensure transport issues are taken into consideration and resolved at an early stage.

Let's Get Moving brings together neighbourhood travel teams in each of the five Merseyside boroughs and Halton. Activities so far have included:

  • Personalised travel plans
  • "How to get to" guides for large employment sites detailing all modes of transport
  • Travel cards offering up to one month's free travel to work
  • Passenger "buddying"
  • Travel surgeries in local venues
  • Displays and advice at jobs fairs
  • Facilitating liaison with other agencies
  • Provision of scooters under a "Scooter Commuter" scheme, which offers six-month loans of scooters to people who cannot get to work via public transport
  • Discount schemes, maps and safety advice for cyclists
  • Support for the development of travel plans for employers, particularly at large employment sites

Over the coming eighteen months, the new programme expects to:

  • Help 6,000 people to access places of employment
  • Provide 250 six-month loans of scooters
  • Issue 3000 travel cards
  • Support 10 workplace travel plans into adoption
  • Produce 20 "How to get to" guides

Last year, Let's Get Moving won Beacon Status for Merseyside Transport Partnership and Halton Council, recognising its excellence and innovation in improving the quality of life for local communities. More than 12,000 people have been helped since the programme began.

Neil Scales, chairman of the Merseyside Transport Partnership, said: "This new funding will ensure that this hugely important work continues during what is going to be a challenging economic period, when supporting people into work is going to be even more vital than before."

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