Door2Door Scheme Reviewed by Down District Disability Forum
Down District Disability Forum at its recent meeting discussed the Department for Regional Development’s current consultation on the Door-2-Door scheme. The review has been prompted by the changes to the public transport system, the high costs per trip of Door-3-Door and the low levels of people with disabilities who use public transport.
Bill Keown, Chairman Down District Disability Forum, told members there were three changes proposed to the eligibility for membership of the current scheme. those in receipt of the higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), those referred by a GP and those who had been members of Bridge Accessible Transport or Disability Action in 2006.
He said: “There are a number of positive proposals which included an extension of the Travel Buddy Scheme, amendments to the Safe Travel Guide and travel training for users and transport providers. We all need to encourage people with disabilities to get out and about as this helps to address social exclusion, enables access to employment, services, education and basic social activities, that said there is a question mark on how successful this will be in rural areas where the level of public transport services can be very thin on the ground.”
Members believe the Department for Regional Development needs to ensure it has ‘Rural Proofed’ these proposals to ensure there are adequate transport services operating in these areas before there is a dramatic reduction in the Door-2-Door service. With the increasing costs of fuel such services are vital to people who live in rural areas. The forum encourages everyone to read the consultation document and make sure they register their views with the Department.