What would a world #WithoutCT look like to you?

Since the Department for Transport released their consultation on section 19 and 22 permits in February, there has been continued support for community transport.  Passengers, MPs, local authorities and other community groups you support have been united in their opinion that your services are indispensable and that a world without CT is one which would be immeasurably poorer.

The changes proposed by the Department for Transport will affect community transport providers as well as other organisations that provide transport services such as churches, schools, youth groups and charities such as the Scouts, Age UK, Mind or Scope. If you want to find out more about the proposed changes and what they could mean for your organisation, you can click here. 

We want to continue raising the profile of this issue and making the voices of our members and their passengers heard. To bring our messages together we’ve created a template for you to print off and ask your passengers, staff and supporters to write a personal message of what a world without community transport would look like for them. You can click here to download the blank template. 

We’ve also included a couple of examples of the types of messages we’ve received already which you can find here.

Once someone has filled out the template, make sure you take a photo of them holding it and then post it on social media with the hashtag #WithoutCT and send it to tom@ctauk.org. If you don’t have social media, we’ll be happy to post it for you!

If you’re posting your photos on twitter, why not tag your own MP in the message or even ask them to complete a version of their own.


Remember, you can also take a look here for some more suggested ways to get involved, and make sure you respond to the Department’s consultation before it closes on 04th May. You can find CTA’s guidance for responding here.

Please note: Prior to posting images on social media, please get the permission of the person first.

Welsh Government write to UK Department for Transport over proposed changes to section 19/22 permits

 

Llyr

Ken Skates AM, the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, has recently written to Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP to voice the concerns of the Welsh Government in regards to the UK Department for Transport’s proposed changes to section 19 and 22 permits. You can read the full letter here.

While permits and licensing are not devolved issues, the Welsh Government is in charge of how community transport operates in Wales, and is therefore concerned about the impact that the proposed changes will have on hundreds of organisations across the country. The Cabinet Secretary has also announced that he will lead on a new integrated transport strategy over the summer and produce a White Paper to consult on bus services in Wales, and it is his intention that community transport will be part of delivering that strategy.

Our members’ excellent contributions to a recent debate on community transport in the National Assembly for Wales demonstrated that the work of community transport providers plays a significant role in many of the issues of policy that are devolved to the Welsh Government. This includes providing accessible transport to support social care, helping people access health appointments, alleviating social isolation and loneliness, as well as providing accessible transport for schools and community groups across Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary correctly noted in his letter that, in the Assembly debate:

“Members across all the political parties in the National Assembly for Wales noted with concern the current consultation on community transport permits and the potential impact that these proposed changes could have on services in Wales.”

The Welsh Government’s letter is encouraging in that it provides a detailed analysis and shows a strong understanding of the impact the proposed changes could have in Wales, and also responds constructively in looking for ways to mitigate that impact, or to change course in terms of the interpretation of the EU regulations coming into force.

In the letter, the Cabinet Secretary sets out his reservations on the following:

  • The Department for Transport proposed definition of ‘commercial activity’, whereby community transport operators can rely on exemption from commercial activity due to transport being an ‘incidental service’, noting that “few community transport providers in Wales provide transport as an ancillary service.”
  • On the exemption to ‘commercial activity’ through ‘the service provided being free of charge’, the Cabinet Secretary notes this is unrealistic as “no such service can be provided entirely free of charge.”
  • On the exemption that ‘any charge for service is substantially less than cost’, the Cabinet Secretary notes that “providing a service at less than cost is not sustainable.”
  • On the exemption that ‘services may be provided if there is no competition from commercial operators, the Cabinet Secretary notes that “in effect, public service vehicle operators are provided a veto to prevent community transport operators bidding” meaning that commercial operators “are able to effectively dictate prices to the contracting local authorities having removed the only source of local competition”.
  • The Cabinet Secretary responded constructively to the exemption that operators be discounted from commercial activities, based on short distances, but noted that in many rural areas in Wales (such as Powys), a radius of between 15 to 20 miles would still not allow for many services to be provided, and suggested that in such areas a radius of 30 miles be applied.

We welcome the Welsh Government’s contribution to this debate, and hope for continued dialogue to support the community transport sector which must play a vital part in achieving the Welsh Government’s aims on integrated transport and a connected Wales. We look forward to working together to both address the problems of the DfT’s proposed changes in the regulatory regime, but also in positively building a community transport strategy for the future wellbeing of generations in Wales.

The role of Assembly Members across all parties in the National Assembly in ensuring constructive and well informed dialogue to press this issue forward is also to be acknowledged, as the Cabinet Secretary does in his letter.

As the Cabinet Secretary said during the Assembly debate last month: “Rather than get dragged down into a pointless political point-scoring exercise, I wish to instead pay tribute to the community transport sector for keeping this item right at the top of the transport agenda.”

We can reassure the Cabinet Secretary that we, with our members, will continue to work to keep community transport at the top of the agenda, and will make sure the Welsh Government puts it at the centre of transport policy and innovation in Wales.

If you want to find out more about this issue, including ways to get involved and contact your local representatives you can take a look at our blog here.


 

Mae Ken Skates AC, Ysgrifennydd Cabinet Llywodraeth Cymru dros yr Economi a’r Seilwaith, wedi ysgrifennu at y Gweinidog Trafnidiaeth Nusrat Ghani AS yn ddiweddar i leisio pryderon Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch newidiadau arfaethedig Adran Drafnidiaeth y DU i drwyddedau adran 19 a 22. Gallwch ddarllen y llythyr llawn yma.

Er nad yw trwyddedau a thrwyddedu yn faterion sydd wedi’u datganoli, Llywodraeth Cymru sy’n gyfrifol am sut mae cludiant cymunedol yn gweithredu yng Nghymru, ac felly mae’n poeni am yr effaith y bydd y newidiadau arfaethedig yn ei chael ar gannoedd o gyrff ledled y wlad. Mae’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet wedi cyhoeddi hefyd y bydd yn arwain ar strategaeth cludiant integredig dros yr haf ac y bydd yn cynhyrchu Papur Gwyn i ymgynghori ar wasanaethau bysiau yng Nghymru. Ei fwriad yw i gludiant cymunedol fod yn rhan o gyflawni’r strategaeth honno.

Dangosodd cyfraniadau ardderchog ein haelodau i drafodaeth ddiweddar ar gludiant cymunedol yng Nghynlluniad Cenedlaethol Cymru fod gwaith darparwyr cludiant cymunedol yn chwarae rhan arwyddocaol yn llawer o’r materion polisi sydd wedi’u datganoli i Lywodraeth Cymru. Mae hyn yn cynnwys darparu cludiant hygyrch i gefnogi gofal cymdeithasol, helpu pobl i gael mynediad at apwyntiadau iechyd, lliniaru arwahanrwydd cymdeithasol ac unigedd, yn ogystal â darparu cludiant hygyrch i ysgolion a grwpiau cymunedol ledled Cymru.

Nododd yr Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn gywir yn ei llythyr, yn y drafodaeth yn y Cynulliad, fod:

“Aelodau ar draws pob plaid wleidyddol yng Nghynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru wedi nodi gyda phryder yr ymgynghoriad cyfredol ar drwyddedau cludiant cymunedol a’r effaith bosibl y gallai’r newidiadau arfaethedig hyn ei chael ar wasanaethau yng Nghymru.”

Mae llythyr Llywodraeth Cymru yn galonogol yn yr ystyr ei fod yn rhoi dadansoddiad manwl o’r effaith y gallai’r newidiadau arfaethedig ei chael yng Nghymru ac yn dangos dealltwriaeth gref ohoni. Hefyd, mae’n ymateb yn adeiladol wrth edrych am ffyrdd o liniaru’r effaith, neu o newid llwybr o ran y dehongliad o reoliadau’r UE sy’n dod i rym.

Yn ei lythyr, mae’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn nodi ei bryderon ynghylch y canlynol:

  • Diffiniad arfaethedig yr Adran Drafnidiaeth o ‘gweithgarwch masnachol’, lle gall gweithredwyr cludiant cymunedol ddibynnu ar gael eu heithrio o weithgarwch masnachol oherwydd bod cludiant yn ‘wasanaeth achlysurol’, ac yn nodi mai “ychydig iawn o ddarparwyr cludiant cymunedol yng Nghymru sy’n darparu cludiant fel gwasanaeth ategol.”
  • Ynghylch yr eithriad i ‘weithgarwch masnachol’ os yw’r ‘gwasanaeth a roddir yn ddi-dâl’, noda’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet fod hyn yn realistig gan “na all unrhyw wasanaeth o’r fath gael ei roi yn hollol rad ac am ddim.’
  • Ynghylch yr eithriad bod ‘unrhyw dâl am wasanaeth yn sylweddol is na’r gost’, noda’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet fod “darparu gwasanaeth am lai na’i gost yn anghynaladwy.”
  • Ynghylch yr eithriad bod ‘modd darparu gwasanaethau os nad oes cystadleuaeth oddi wrth weithredwyr masnachol’, noda’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet “i bob pwrpas, mae gweithredwyr cerbydau gwasanaeth cyhoeddus yn cael feto i atal gweithredwyr cludiant cymunedol rhag cynnig” ystyr hyn yw bod darparwyr masnachol “yn gallu dweud wrth yr awdurdodau lleol beth ddylai’r prisiau fod ar ôl cael gwared ar yr unig ffynhonnell o gystadleuaeth leol”.
  • Ymatebodd yr Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn gadarnhaol i’r eithriad y dylai gweithredwyr gael eu diystyru o wasanaethau masnachol, yn seiliedig ar bellteroedd byr, ond nododd, mewn llawer o ardaloedd gwledig yng Nghymru (fel Powys), na fyddai radiws o rhwng 15 a 20 milltir yn dal i alluogi llawer o wasanaethau i gael eu darparu, ac awgrymodd y dylid defnyddio radiws o 30 milltir mewn ardaloedd o’r fath.

Rydym yn croesawu cyfraniad Llywodraeth Cymru i’r drafodaeth hon, ac yn gobeithio parhau â’r ddeialog i gefnogi’r sector cludiant cymunedol, y mae’n rhaid iddo chwarae rhan hanfodol wrth gyflawni nodau Llywodraeth Cymru ar gludiant integredig a Chymru gysylltiedig. Edrychwn ymlaen at gydweithio i fynd i’r afael â phroblemau newidiadau arfaethedig yr Adran Drafnidiaeth i’r drefn reoleiddio, ond hefyd wrth adeiladu’n gadarnhaol strategaeth gludiant cymunedol er lles cenedlaethau Cymru i’r dyfodol.

Rhaid cydnabod rôl Aelodau’r Cynulliad ar draws pob plaid yn y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol wrth sicrhau deialog adeiladol a gwybodus er mwyn gwthio’r mater hwn yn ei flaen, fel y gwna’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn ei lythyr.

Fel y dywedodd yr Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn ystod y ddadl yn y Cynulliad y mis diwethaf: “Yn hytrach na chael fy llusgo i lawr i ymarfer dibwys sgorio pwyntio gwleidyddol, hoffwn, yn hytrach, dalu teyrnged i’r sector cludiant cyhoeddus am gadw’r eitem hon reit ar frig yr agenda drafnidiaeth.”

Gallwn sicrhau’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet y byddwn ni, gyda’n haelodau, yn parhau i weithio i gadw cludiant cymunedol ar frig yr agenda, a byddwn yn gwneud yn siŵr y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei roi wrth graidd polisi trafnidiaeth ac arloesedd yng Nghymru.

Pe hoffech chi gael gwybod rhagor am y mater hwn, gan gynnwys ffyrdd o gymryd rhan ac o gysylltu â’ch cynrychiolwyr lleol, gallwch weld ein blog yma.

My Journey with Brent Community Transport

By Mr S Ahluwalia

Mr S Ahlualia

If I’m not mistaken, I started using Brent Community Transport (BCT) services in December 2015. I found out about the service through a Dial a Ride Magazine and I rang up for an application form. Within a few days, I received confirmation that I am a member and I started booking trips to the Dominion Centre in Southall on Thursday’s which I still attend.

In January 2013 my wife passed away and every Friday my son used to pick me up on his way home from Crowley and take me to his home so I could spend the weekend with his family.

In April 2016 my son was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, due to that he was put on sick leave and could no longer drive his car. This prevented him from picking me up on Friday’s. For a short while my daughter in law who is a Head Teacher at a school in Hayes collected me but this became too much for her and she also could no longer collect me.

Having discovered BCT, I asked if they could provide me transport every Friday to go see my son and his family in Harefield. Thankfully, they were able to provide me with this trip and it was such a joy for me to be able to get back out again and spend the weekend with family.

I am 90 years old and disabled, the services provided are lifesaving for me. If I was sat at home, my life would be very different. After losing my wife, there was a period of loneliness with my family not living local to me and having BCT to take me places has been a pleasure.

Since I joined BCT, my life has become worth living. The drivers always arrive on time and all are very kind and helpful. God bless all the staff who work ever so hard to make sure people like myself are able to be a part of society regardless of age and mobility.

 

 

Help us protect community transport

Keep making your voice heard: click the link below to send a tweet to the Department for Transport and Transport Ministers Jesse Norman MP and Nusrat Ghani MP, telling them how important community transport is to you: 

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Whether you’re a member of the public, someone who works or volunteers for a not-for-profit community transport provider or users of those services, potential changes to how transport legislation applies could have a huge impact on you and your community. Find out about how you can help protect community transport.

Transport is a lifeline for people of all ages. Being able to get out and about is vital to experiencing the world around us. Unfortunately, private cars and public transport are often not options for those who can’t afford them, have no local bus services, live rurally, or can’t use conventional public transport due to needing extra assistance or support.

Thousands of charities and third sector organisations across the UK currently run not-for-profit transport on a daily basis that exists to make sure everyone can get out and about, no matter what their circumstances or needs.

From schools to churches, from care homes to your local dial-a-ride, every day, huge numbers of people get in their minibuses and cars to help members of our communities get to where they need to be.

Collectively, we refer to these not-for-profit transport services as ‘community transport’ as they are run by and for our communities, fulfilling a social purpose and providing community benefit.

However, these services are under threat.


Why are these services under threat?

Currently, these organisations are able to use what’s called section 19 or section 22 permits rather than having to apply for a commercial operator’s licence, because they’re not making a profit from their transport services, and they can use training such as the Minibus Drivers’ Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) to ensure their transport services are safe and legal.

This way of operating has been supported in legislation and encouraged by successive governments for nearly 30 years in order to ensure that people in our communities can still get out and about when public transport can’t support them.

Now, following a challenge from a small group of commercial bus operators, the Department for Transport has proposed changes to the way that these not-for-profit transport operators should run their services. The changes are an attempt to clarify how European Union regulations regarding transport operation should apply. The Department set these changes out in guidance released in February.

The DfT’s proposed guidance will mean that an estimated:

28% of all organisations running not-for-profit community transport will need a commercial operator’s licence to continue running their services.

84% of all organisations running not-for-profit transport will have to ensure their staff and volunteers obtain a commercial minibus driving qualification if they want to continue to drive their vehicles.

 95% of all organisations running not-for-profit transport will be affected by these changes and required to spend large amounts of money to become compliant.

This means that this will affect traditional community transport providers as well as not-for-profit organisations that provide transport services such as churches, schools, youth groups, and charities such as the Scouts, Age UK, Mind or Scope.

If the proposed guidance stands, the total estimated impact on organisations will be £399 million. For individual organisations the cost is dependent on their size and level of development, but could be anything from £10,000 up to figures of well over a million, in order to make sure they are compliant.

This cost will likely be too much, or not viable, for many of these not-for-profit organisations, meaning that they will no longer be able to afford to run their transport services, leaving tens of thousands of vulnerable people without the transport they rely on.

We do not believe this was the intention of the Department for Transport, but it will be the outcome if they do not reconsider their guidance now the costs and consequences of their planned reforms are becoming clearer.


Why won’t the proposed guidance work?

The Department for Transport initiated these reforms in order to change the way a small number of community transport operators were regulated when bidding for competitively tendered contracts. This was because the act of bidding for competitive contracts was seen to be ‘commercial’.

Unfortunately, the Department’s guidance and issued statements are not clear on which organisations would be affected by the different regulations, but instead suggests that any organisation fitting into the below definitions is acting as a commercial transport operator:

  • Any organisation who delivers transport as their main function or primary purpose, if:

–  They cannot prove that no commercial organisation wishes to deliver that service

–  Their services are not free or less than 89% of the cost of delivering that service

–  They are delivering an occasional service with a paid driver

– They are hiring out their vehicle/s with no driver include

  • Any transport service run by an organisation whose main function does not involve delivering transport (e.g. a school, Age UK etc.), will be considered ‘commercial’ if:

– Any driver of the service receives a salary from the organisation, even if driving is just an incidental part of their job.

This impact of the loss of these services will not be felt by the Department for Transport, it will be felt by the people who have come together to help their community through transport, by the older people and people with disabilities who can no longer access their community because these services don’t exist, by the youth groups and care homes who can no longer provide transport for trips and services, and by our local authorities who will have to make up for these losses, because people are left isolated and lonely.

We do not believe this needs to be the case. We believe that there are alternative ways forward.

For more information, you can download our full briefing document here.


What can you do?

In February, the Department for Transport launched a consultation on their guidance. The consultation closed on 04 May, but there’s still plenty you can do to make your voice heard!

As part of this, we’re asking them to reconsider their proposed changes and we want you to join us by:

1) Speaking to your Member of Parliament.

Get in touch with your MP to make sure they know about the impact this could have on your local community. It’s vital that MPs hold the Department for Transport to account and urge them to take a step back and reconsider these changes.

You can write your own letter or use one of our templates below:

2) Make your voice heard on social media

We want to let as many people as possible know just how much these changes could affect people and communities across the UK. Tweet about the issue with the hashtag #WithoutCT and share your stories of what the changes could mean for you and your community if they didn’t have access to community transport services.

You can also download our template sign here and photograph your passengers sharing what their lives would be like without community transport. 

You can also click the button below to send a tweet directly to transport ministers Jesse Norman MP , Nusrat Ghani MP and the Department for Transport telling them how important community transport is to you:

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3) Make your own case study

Using our case study template, you can input your organisation’s information to help you demonstrate the impact on the services you operate and the cost to your organisation. You can then attach this when you write to your MP and it would be great if you could also send a copy to hello@ctauk.org.  Click here to download our case study template.


Will these changes affect my organisation?

If the proposed guidance is implemented as it currently stands, you are very likely to be affected if:

1) Running community transport is the main purpose of your organisation

And/or

2) You have paid employees who drive your minibuses

You can find out more about what this might mean for you and get an idea of the associated costs using our Impact Flowchart which you can download here.


Without Community Transport, tens of thousands of people will see themselves unable to access the transport they rely on every day. The Department for Transport needs to stop and think about the huge impact on these people if they press ahead with these changes.

Help us protect community transport.

Department for Transport Consultation – Supporting Your Response

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In February 2018, the UK Government launched its consultation on the use of section 19 and 22 permits following a change to how it thinks EU Regulation 1071/2009 on PSV operators should be applied in England, Wales and Scotland.

Our team has spent the last month working with our members and supporters to develop resources and guidance to support you to respond to the consultation, which we are launching today. You can find that guidance at the end of this blog 

Before that, I wanted to share where I think we are right now and what we need to do in the next month.

Everything that has come up in all the conversations we’ve had comes down to three big issues.

1) Things are still unclear.

Before last summer things seemed clear – we had commonly accepted interpretations of the law that only a handful of detractors weren’t prepared to go along with. We still stand by the principle that being a non-commercial entity means all your services are non-commercial and still want to convince the DfT that they should do the same.

We lost that clarity with the Department for Transports’ letter of 31 July and this uncertainty has had a massively destabilising effect on many charities, their commissioners and their passengers – as much as any actual proposed changes themselves.

We hoped this uncertainty would be short-lived once the consultation came out, but in its current form, the proposed guidance doesn’t provide the much-needed clarity the sector was expecting to see. By parking the question over how Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) applies, the consultation also prolongs the uncertainty for thousands of organisations that don’t have transport as their main activity as well as mainstream community transport operators.

We accept there needs to be room for discretion because every eventuality and permutation cannot be mapped out, but what we have at the moment just throws a blanket of doubt over everything that holders of section and 19 and 22 permits do and could damage far more than the provision of local authority contracts.

The Department’s proposed solutions assume the world to be nice and neat with decisions about licences, money and contracts being simple, linear and sequential. We know the world is more complex and dynamic and we need to show how.

What will help is our sector providing information and examples through the consultation and during DfT events that address the lack of a real-world view in the language and labels they are using and the processes they assume take place when services are commissioned and licences or permits are issued.

2) Outsourcing enforcement to commercial operators is unworkable.

There are no credible means of directly assessing if competition exists that can inform a judgement on whether exemptions from the regulations can be applied. The Department, therefore, has to find a way to infer this through some other means. We think allowing commercial operators to be the arbiters is the completely wrong approach and we have to work as a sector to provide a better more workable solution.

It may be that local authorities are better placed to do this because they at least have public accountability but this won’t solve all the problems we foresee.

3) This is unfair.

By accepting a premise that any transaction in any form makes something commercial, the proposed changes will wipe out many more charities than the Department intended i.e. not just those who compete for contracts. And once the impact of applying the same principles to Driver CPC is realised this will take out even more charities or make many of the things they currently do unviable in the future.

We do not believe this was the intention of the Department for Transport, but it will be the outcome if they do not reconsider their guidance.

The people this is most unfair on is our passengers, especially those who can’t access mainstream services or don’t have cars and rely on community transport. They are rightly alarmed that there seems to be no assessment of how this will impact on their quality of life.

Having taken this action to avoid a day in court with a bully, the UK Government now faces the very real prospect of a legal challenge from some of our most isolated and vulnerable citizens for not having paid sufficient attention to how these reforms will impact on them. We know they care about the same things we do, so this cannot be something they want.

This is not just about transport. It’s about the kind of country we want to live in. Let’s spend the next month working together to show everyone what that looks like.

Download our guidance and resources:

Please click the links below to download our resources:

  • Download CTA’s Guidance DocumentThis document is intended to support CTA members to respond to the UK Government’s consultation. It explains our take on why the questions are being asked, what we think of the issues they address and suggests the types of information you could use to illustrate the nature and value of your services as well as your views on the proposals.

CTA’s Guidance Document also references the following documents:

Impact flowchart. If you are unsure whether or how the Department’s proposed changes might affect your organisation, you can use this flowchart to aid your understanding.

– Cost calculators. You can use these two calculators to get an estimation of how much the Department’s proposed changes could cost your organisation if you had to a) start using a PSV O licence or b) if you wouldn’t need a PSV O licence but your drivers require a Driver CPC. You can use the impact flowchart to understand which calculator to use.

If you have any questions on any of these resources please email hello@ctauk.org

What comes next:

We want to show the Department for Transport how their proposed changes are unclear, unworkable and unfair, and in the coming weeks we’ll be encouraging all CTA members to join in some campaign actions to get their passengers, communities and politicians talking about the impact.

We’ll also be issuing supplementary guidance which explore some of the issues in greater depth, such as impact on local authority commissioning practices.

Dadl Cynulliad Cymru yn dathlu cludiant cymunedol ac yn galw am ragor o gefnogaeth i’r sector

 

Christine Boston

English

Ddydd Mercher 21 Mawrth, daeth aelodau Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru at ei gilydd i ddathlu ac i gefnogi cludiant cymunedol.  Galwon nhw ar Lywodraeth Cymru i weithio mewn partneriaeth gyda’r sector a gyda chyrff cyhoeddus i sicrhau bod cludiant cymunedol yn gallu parhau â’i waith hanfodol, sef darparu gwasanaethau cludiant hygyrch a chynhwysol i bobl agored i niwed mewn cymunedau ledled Cymru.

Wrth agor y ddadl, tynnodd Mark Isherwood AC sylw at amrywiaeth o heriau sy’n wynebu’r sector gan gynnwys trefniadau ariannu tymor byr sy’n rhwystro cynllunio llwyddiannus ar gyfer y dyfodol ac ymgynghoriad cyfredol yr Adran Drafnidiaeth ynghylch trwyddedau adran 19 a 22.

Yn eu cynnig, nododd Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru fod “cludiant cymunedol yn chwarae rhan hanfodol yn ein cymunedau, yn darparu cludiant i bobl sy’n wynebu rhwystrau i gael mynediad at gludiant preifat a chyhoeddus, yn cynorthwyo pobl i fyw’n annibynnol ac i gael mynediad at wasanaethau hanfodol, ac ar yr un pryd yn lliniaru materion sy’n gysylltiedig ag unigrwydd ac arwahanrwydd.”

Dathlodd aelodau o bob plaid ymdrechion staff a gwirfoddolwyr cludiant cymunedol yng Nghymru, gan dynnu sylw at enghreifftiau o aelodau’r Gymdeithas Cludiant Cymunedol, Cludiant Cymunedol Eastvale, Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern, Deial i Deithio Canolfan Bloomfield, Deial i Deithio Sir Ddinbych a rhagor.

Ym Mhowys, er enghraifft, gyrrodd gweithredwyr cludiant cymunedol dros 8,000 o bobl dros 800,000 milltir a darparu 108,000 o deithiau unigol yn y flwyddyn a aeth heibio’n unig.  Heb y gwasanaethau hyn, mae Cyngor Gwasanaeth Gwirfoddol Powys yn amcangyfrif y byddai hanner y teithwyr sy’n defnyddio’r gwasanaethau yn colli eu cludiant gyda bil o £800,000 i’r awdurdod lleol a’r bwrdd iechyd i ddarparu’r un gwasanaethau.

Roedd Ken Skates, Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth, yn gefnogol hefyd, a dywedodd ei bod hi’n ddadl bwysig am wasanaeth hanfodol i gymunedau ledled Cymru.

Wrth gyfeirio at gynlluniau ar gyfer strategaeth trafnidiaeth genedlaethol newydd, dywedodd ei fod “yn argyhoeddedig y dylai cludiant cymunedol wneud cyfraniad hanfodol i rwydwaith trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus integredig yn y dyfodol, ac y bydd yn gwneud hynny.”

Hefyd cadarnhaodd y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio gyda’r sector i ystyried effaith bosibl newidiadau arfaethedig i’r gyfundrefn trwyddedau cludiant cymunedol yng Nghymru ac y bydd yn gweithio gyda CTA yng Nghymru i ddatblygu cynlluniau wrth gefn er mwyn lliniaru unrhyw effaith negyddol bosibl ar wasanaethau.

Yn olaf, dywedodd Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet ei fod eisiau “talu teyrnged i’r sector cludiant cymunedol am gadw’r eitem hon ar frig yr agenda drafnidiaeth.”

Ac fel erioed, rydyn ni i gyd yn y Gymdeithas Cludiant Cymunedol eisiau talu teyrnged i’n haelodau sy’n gweithio’n ddiflino er mwyn darparu gwasanaethau cludiant cymunedol bob diwrnod o’r flwyddyn ac i bob un o’r rhai a gyfrannodd i’r ddadl ddoe drwy ysgrifennu at eu Haelodau Cynulliad i sicrhau bod y gwaith caled hwn yn cael ei gydnabod.

Gellir gwylio cynnig y ddadl, a basiwyd yn unfrydol, yma: http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=21411

Gellir gwylio’r ddadl yn llawn ar Senedd TV yma: http://www.senedd.tv/Meeting/Archive/b9d1f87a-80ed-4a7a-9436-5e0ba895f0d0?autostart=True

Welsh Assembly debate celebrates community transport and calls for further support for the sector

Christine Boston

Cymraeg

On Wednesday 21st March, members of the National Assembly for Wales joined together to celebrate and support community transport.  They called on the Welsh Government to work in partnership with the sector and with public bodies to ensure that community transport can continue its vital work of providing accessible and inclusive transport services for vulnerable people in communities across Wales.

In opening the debate, Mark Isherwood AM highlighted a range of challenges facing the sector including short-term funding arrangements which inhibit successful planning for the future and the Department for Transport’s current consultation regarding section 19 & 22 permits.

In their motion, the National Assembly for Wales noted that “community transport services play a vital role in our communities, providing transport for people who face barriers to accessing public and private transport, supporting people to live independently and access vital services, while also mitigating issues around loneliness and isolation.”

Members from all parties celebrated the efforts of community transport staff and volunteers in Wales, highlighting examples from CTA members Eastvale Community Transport, Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern, Bloomfield Centre Dial-a-Ride, Denbighshire Dial-a-Ride and more.

In Powys, for example, CT operators drove over 8,000 people over 800,000 miles and delivered 108,000 single passenger journeys in the last year alone.  Without these services, Powys Council for Voluntary Organisations estimate that half of the passengers using services would lose their transport with an £800,000 bill for the local authority and health board to provide the same services.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, was also supportive, said that it was an important debate about a vital service for communities across Wales.

In referring to plans for a new national transport strategy, he said that he was “convinced that community transport should and will make a vital contribution to an integrated public transport network in the future.”

He also confirmed that the Welsh Government will be working with the sector to consider the potential impact of proposed changes to the community transport permit regime and work with CTA in Wales to develop contingency plans to mitigate any potentially negative impact on services.

Finally, the Cabinet Secretary said he wished to “pay tribute to the community transport sector for keeping this item right at the top of the transport agenda.”

And as ever, all of us at the CTA want to pay tribute to our members who work tirelessly to deliver community transport services every day of the year and to all those who contributed to the debate yesterday by writing to their Assembly Members to ensure this hard work is recognised.

The debate motion, which was passed unanimously, can be viewed here: http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=21411

The debate can be viewed in full via Senedd TV here: http://www.senedd.tv/Meeting/Archive/b9d1f87a-80ed-4a7a-9436-5e0ba895f0d0?autostart=True

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Community Transport

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Community Transport was established this month as a forum for parliamentarians to demonstrate and celebrate the value of community transport and to learn about the experiences of community transport charities and their service users in shaping public policy where improved accessibility and mobility would be of benefit.

In recent months we have seen the profile of community transport raised in Parliament as MPs and Peers have been concerned about planned changes to how the sector is regulated by the Department for Transport.

Seeing how strongly MPs and Peers feel about their local charities has been heartening and has led to us creating a forum that can build on and coordinate this increased level of interest and awareness.

The aim will be to provide a forum where MPs and Peers can consider the diverse and distinct ways community transport contributes to solving problems within transport and thinking more broadly about its relevance to wider public policy issues such as loneliness and isolation, reducing delayed transfers and no-shows in hospitals and supporting local economic well-being in small town and villages.

This will come through events and activities that enable MPs and Peers to interact with community transport charities and their service-users to learn from their everyday experiences, needs and aspirations.

The first meeting took place on 12 March with the following Members of Parliament and Peers in attendance:

  • Robert Courts MP, Conservative (Chair)
  • Lilian Greenwood MP, Labour (Officer)
  • Bill Grant MP, Conservative (Treasurer)
  • Maggie Throup MP, Conservative (Secretary)
  • Crispin Blunt MP, Conservative
  • Baroness Randerson, Liberal Democrat

Robert Courts MP for Witney was elected chair of the APPG and opened the first meeting by talking about the enormous impact that local community transport providers have in his constituency. He discussed how the role of the APPG is to raise awareness of community transport as a cross-party group, the group is also pushing for a Westminster Hall debate.

If you would like your Member of Parliament to get involved in the APPG make sure you get in touch with them to make them aware of the group and how important your services are to your passengers. You can find your local MP here.

You can also follow the group on Twitter @APPGCT

Dadl yn y Senedd: helpu ni i ddiogelu trafnidiaeth gymunedol yng Nghymru

Christine Boston

English

Gyda’r eira trwm diweddar roedd llawer ohonom wedi’n dal yn ein cartrefi, a felly’n methu gwneud y pethau yr ydym yn eu cymryd yn ganiataol megis mynd i’r gwaith, i siopa neu i apwyntiadau meddygol. Roedd hyn yn rhoi cipolwg bach ar sut beth yw bywyd dyddiol ar gyfer pobl sy’n dibynnu ar drafnidiaeth gymunedol i deithio o gwmpas, pe byddai’r gwasanaethau rheini ar gael.

Gallai hyn ddod yn realiti yng Nghymru cyn bo hir os bydd newidiadau arfaethedig i reoleiddio trafnidiaeth cymunedol ledled Brydain yn dod i rym.  Mae Llywodraeth San Steffan yn cynllunio i newid sut y mae rheolau’r Undeb Ewropeaidd yn berthnasol yma ac am ddechrau trin elusennau sy’n rhedeg gwasanaethau trafnidiaeth fel pe baent yn union fel cwmnïau bysiau.

Mae tîm Cymdeithas Cludiant Cymunedol (CTA) yng Nghymru wedi llwyddo i gefnogi Aelodau’r Cynulliad i drefnu dadl ar drafnidiaeth gymunedol yn Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru.  Rydym yn falch o ddweud y bydd y ddadl hon ar brynhawn dydd Mercher 21ain o Fawrth yn y Senedd.

Bydd y ddadl yn enw Mark Isherwood AC (Ceidwadwyr Cymreig), ac fe’i gefnogir gan Adam Price AC (Plaid Cymru), Dr Dai Lloyd AC (Plaid Cymru), a Suzy Davies AC (Ceidwadwyr Cymru). Rydym yn hyderus bydd y ddadl ei hun yn cynnwys cyfraniadau yn gefnogol i drafnidiaeth gymunedol gan Aelodau Cynulliad Llafur Cymru ac UKIP yn ogystal. Rydym yn gobeithio felly dangos cefnogaeth drawsbleidiol ar gyfer y sector yng Nghymru.

Bydd y ddadl yn edrych yn benodol ar y pryder ynglyn ag ymgynghoriad Adran Cludiant Llywodraeth San Steffan ar drwyddedau trafnidiaeth cymunedol (trwydded adran 19/22) ac effaith bosibl hyn ar wasanaethau yng Nghymru.  Bydd yr Aelodau hefyd yn ystyried ffyrdd y gall Llywodraeth Cymru helpu i sicrhau sefydlogrwydd ar gyfer y sector cludiant cymunedol ar hyn o bryd.

Rydym yn annog pobl a sefydliadau sy’n cael eu heffeithio gan y newidiadau yma i gysylltu a’ch Aelodau Cynulliad (ACau) etholaethol a rhanbarthol, a’u gwneud yn ymwybodol o’r trafferthion yr ydych yn debygol o’i wynebu.

Ydi cludiant cymunedol yn helpu i chi o ran mynd a chwi at iechyd neu gofal? Mynd allan a mwynhau bywyd gyda mwy o weithredoedd a chyfleoedd i fynd allan o’r ty? Cael eich plant i ysgol neu i glybiau chwaraeon ac ati? Beth fyddai effaith arnoch chi, eich teulu, cymuned neu wirfoddolwyr os oedd gwasanaethau o’r fath yn cael eu rhoi mewn perygl? Gadewch i’ch Aelodau Cynulliad wybod!

Byddem yn awgrymu yn yr e-bost neu lythyr eich bod yn cynnwys ychydig o’r wybodaeth ganlynol:

1) pwy ydych chi a beth yr ydych yn ei wneud.

2)Effiath y bydd y newidiadau arfaethedig yn eu gael arnoch chi, eich teulu, neu eich cymuned

3) Os ydych:

  • yn darparu gwasanaethau cludiant cymunedol – maint eich gwasanaethau, gan gynnwys , os yn bosibl, syniad o faint o’r ardal y mae eich gwaith yn ei gwmpasu, nifer y bobl a wasanaethir gennych chi a’r math o wasanaeth sy’n cael ei gynnig (e.e. trafnidiaeth ysgolion, apwyntiadau iechyd, cymdeithasol, gofal ac ati.).
  • Cynrychioli pobl sy’n defnyddio gwasanaethau trafnidiaeth cymunedol – disgrifio’r mathau o bobl yr ydych yn eu cynrychioli, y mathau o wasanaethau trafnidiaeth gymunedol, pa weithgaredd a pa wasanaethu y mae’n helpu i bobl gael mynediad iddynt, a phwysigrwydd hyn yn eu bywydau.

4) unrhyw effeithiau yr ydych yn ymwybodol bod yr ansicrwydd presennol eisoes wedi ei gael ar wasanaethau, cyllid neu gynllunio i’r dyfodol yn y sector.

5) dwyn perswad ar eich Aelod Cynulliad i fynychu’r ddadl hon i gynrychioli sefydliadau a’r etholwyr a gaiff eu heffeithio gan y newidiadau arfaethedig.

5) Rhannwch yr e-bost yr ydych yn ei yrru gyda llyr@ctauk.org fel y gallwn ninnau hefyd annog eich Aelod Cynulliad lleol.

Wrth gwrs, dylech chi deimlo’n rhydd i gynnwys unrhyw bwyntiau perthnasol eich hun, a dylech edrych ar yr e-bost hwn fel un sydd ond yn darparu canllaw awgrymedig.

Gallwch ddod o hyd i’ch ACau yma:  http://www.assembly.wales/cy/memhome/Pages/memhome.aspx

Bydd geiriad y cynnig ar gael wythnos nesaf ar wefan y Cynulliad.

Os ydych wedi ymateb i ymholiadau neu ymgynghoriadau blaenorol ar y mater hwn, gallwch deimlo’n rhydd i ddefnyddio’r un testun eto lle bo hynny’n berthnasol.

Byddem yn gobeithio gwneud i’n cynrychiolwyr etholedig  fod yn ymwybodol o’r risg i wasanaethau cludiant cymunedol, cryfder y teimlad yn y sector, a’r effaith posibl ar wasanaethau sy’n gweithredu mewn maesydd sydd o dan gyfrifoldeb y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol.

Bob dydd o’r flwyddyn, mae darparwyr trafnidiaeth gymunedol yn cynnig achubiaeth i bobl mewn cymunedau ledled Cymru a fyddai fel arall yn gaeth i’w tai. Maent yn sicrhau y gall pobl gael gwasanaethau pwysig a chyfleusterau yn ogystal â darparu rhyngweithio cymdeithasol ar gyfer pobl a allai fel arall fod yn unig ac ar ben ei hunain.

Gobeithio y byddwch yn gallu dod o hyd i amser i wneud yr achos i’ch ACau lleol. Os ydych chi’n credu bod unigolion yr ydych chi’n eu gwasanaethu hefyd am gysylltu gyda ACau eu hunain, mae croeso iddynt roi gwybod i’w AC.

Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau ynghylch sut i fynd ymlaen neu os ydych chi’n ansicr ynghylch unrhyw beth, mae croeso i chi e-bostio ar Llyr@ctauk.org neu Christine@ctauk.org, neu cysylltwch â ni ar y ffôn ar 01792 845877/ 07917 586147.

Diolch yn fawr am eich cefnogaeth!

 

Debate in the Senned: Help Protect Community Transport

Christine Boston

Cymraeg

With the recent heavy snow across the UK, many of us were temporarily confined to our homes, unable to do things we normally take for granted, such as getting to work, the shops or medical appointments. This experience provides just a small insight into what life could be like every day for people who rely on community transport to get out and about if those services were no longer available.

This could soon become a reality in Wales if planned changes to how these services are regulated throughout Great Britain come into effect.  The UK Government is planning to change how EU rules for regulating passenger transport services apply here and wants to start treating charities that run transport as if they are just like bus companies.

The CTA team in Wales has suceeded in supporting Assembly Members to arrange a debate on community transport at the National Assembly for Wales.  We are pleased to announce that this debate will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 21st March in the Senedd, the building that houses the National Assembly.

The Debate will be in the name of Mark Isherwood AM (Welsh Conservative), and is supported by Adam Price AM (Plaid Cymru), Dr Dai Lloyd AM (Plaid Cymru), and Suzy Davies AM (Welsh Conservative). We are confident the debate itself will include contributions in support for community transport from Welsh Labour and UKIP Assembly Members as well. In other words, we hope to be able to show cross-party support for the sector in Wales.

The debate will look specifically at the the concern about the current Department for Transport consultation on community transport permits (Section 19/22) and the potential impact of this on services in Wales.  Members will also consider ways in which the Welsh Government can help provide stability for Community Transport at this time.

We would wish to encourage ALL people and organisations affected by the changes to get in contact with your constituency and regional Assembly Members (AMs), and make them aware of the issues you face with the proposed changes.

Does CT help you in terms of health appointments? Generally getting out and about and being active? Getting your children to school or in sports clubs and so on? What would be the impact on you, your family, community or beneficiaries if such services were put at risk? Let your Assembly Members know!

We would suggest that in the email you include some of the following information

1) Who you are and what you do.

1) The effects you think that the proposed changes in community transport will have on you, your family or your community.

3) If you:

  • Provide community transport services – include the extent of your services, with, if possible, an idea of the size of the area your operation covers, the number of people you serve and the type of service you offer (e.g. schools transport, health appointments, social care journeys etc.).
  • Represent people who use community transport services – describe the types of people you represent, the types of community transport services they access and the importance of this in their live.

4) Any effects you are aware of that the current uncertainty is already having on services, funding, or future planning in the sector

5) A request that your Assembly Member attends this debate to represent the organisations and constituents that will be affected by the proposed changes.

6) Please also share your email with llyr@ctauk.org so that we can also encourage your local Assembly Member to attend.

Of course, you should feel free to include any relevant points of your own that you wish to raise, and please view this as a suggested guideline only!

You can find your AMs here: http://www.assembly.wales/en/memhome/Pages/memhome.aspx

The motion will be publicly available on the Assembly website a week before the debate.

Every day of the year, community transport providers are the lifeline for people in communities across Wales who would otherwise be stuck in their homes. They ensure that vulnerable people can access important services and facilities as well as providing social interaction for people who might otherwise be alone.

We would hope to make our elected representatives aware of the risks for community transport services, the strength of feeling in the sector and in our communities, and of the potential impact on services operating in policy areas that are the National Assembly’s responsibility.

We hope you will be able to find time to make the case to your local AMs. If you think there are individuals you serve who may also wish to do so for themselves, feel free to let them know.

If you have any questions on how to proceed or are uncertain about anything, please feel free to email Llyr@ctauk.org or Christine@ctauk.org  contact us by phone on 01792 845877/ 07917 586147.

Thank you for your support!