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Moped project helps people in rural areas overcome travel issues in getting to work

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: July 23, 2010

The Wheels To Work scheme is helping people who suffer unemployment because of travel problems.

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THERE has been a fall in unemployment benefit claims in Lincolnshire, but transport remains a barrier for some people who want to work.

Now people in the more rural areas of the county are being offered mopeds to help them get around when using public transport is not feasible.

Social enterprise Access Your Future has teamed up with Lincolnshire County Council and the Build A Future training centre, based in the Horncastle area, to develop the project.

There are 200 bikes available for use across the county, which can be hired from £8.50 a week.

The Wheels To Work scheme is supported by £360,000 of county council funding.

Similar projects have operated in the county in recent years, but it is anticipated this one will be more sustainable.

Anthony Cooper, 43, a shotblaster at Bifrangi in Lincoln, who lives in Welton, said the scheme was a lifeline. He said: "I was made redundant 14 months ago and had to sell the car.

"When I got this job I lived with my parents in Lincoln for two months and saw my wife and children at weekends.

"Now I can afford to get to work from my home and without the moped it would be lost."

The number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) in the county last month fell by nine per cent to 13,305, or 3.2 per cent of the resident working age population, compared to 14,639 in June 2009.

However, between June 2008 and June 2006 the number of claimants has been about 7,000 to 8,000.

In Lincoln, JSA claims in June amounted to 2,998 – 5.2 per cent of the resident working age population. This compares to 3,068 claims in June last year. Aside from the transport challenges, it is recognised that more needs to be done to develop further high-quality employment and training opportunities to keep more graduates in Lincolnshire and increase broadband coverage.

There are several schemes operating in Lincolnshire to help rural populations get about, including on-demand bus shuttle services.

Head of accessibility at the county council Chris Briggs said the authority was always looking to meet the travel needs of everyone across the county.

He said: "In such a rural county, improving people's access to services is vital and Wheels To Work adds to the many other schemes we have in place.

"We are proud that initiatives such as CallConnect and InterConnect have been recognised in the past year by the Prime Minister's rural advocate in his report into tackling rural disadvantage and by the Minister for Rural Affairs.

"The council also provides financial support to other rural bus services that would otherwise not be viable – these services ensure people can access education, work, health facilities and the shops."

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  • InsideStory  |  July 13 2012, 8:10PM
  • robertpez1  |  July 13 2012, 4:27PM

    how do i get wheels2work to help me where do i start

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  • robertpez1  |  July 13 2012, 4:26PM

    looking good saw wheels to work scheame can you help me i liv in scotland portwillian ,monreith hard to get anywhere for work can you email me if you can help me id like to learn mor about wheels 2 work thanks yrs cinseraly from mr Robert perry robertpezperry@yahoo.co.uk . mobile 07879252506

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    blah blah, lincoln  |  July 25 2010, 10:19AM

    great, 200 inexperienced moped drivers on the road at any one time! As long as they are used for work and not for buzzing around the place with their sewing machine engines for hours after work and seen as a cheap form of social transport, then it's a good idea. Otherwise, it's just a very cheap subsidised private vehicle.

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    Moped man, lincs  |  July 24 2010, 6:15AM

    david's isn't 'tongue and cheek' it's what they tell you to do in bad conditions , leave in plenty of time , i think the clue's in the article people biking to work through necessity not choice, so you learn to ride the adverse conditions,

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    lynn, lincoln  |  July 23 2010, 4:38PM

    Day's like today, it would be brilliant travelling on the open road, sun shining, warm breeze. But, hang on a minute David, what happens when the black ice creeps in, snow, nithering north easterly winds, lashing rain, and anything else you can think of. I know your comment was 'tongue in cheek', but this is England and not sunny Spain.

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    karl, lincoln  |  July 23 2010, 4:22PM

    Good idea...but not available to people in lincoln who equally need the same help so a wasted opportunity. Just because you live in a city it doesnt mean that busses are of any use at all when it comes to getting a job and finding work. Even most factory work and farm work nowadays requires that you have transport for it and since the recession kicked in employers are very choosy about things like this.

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    David, Bracebridge Heath  |  July 23 2010, 12:06PM

    You leave earlier

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    lynn, lincoln  |  July 23 2010, 10:54AM

    Great idea, but what happens when the elements close in?

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