Community transport passengers support local High Streets

Community transport

Posted on: 14 January 2019

High street retailers across the country might be feeling the pinch, but the latest survey of spending by community transport users in Devon is encouraging for local traders.

It’s estimated that more than £3.46 million was spent in local High Streets across Devon by community transport users in 2018, according to new figures from Community Transport operators in Devon.

Over 2,200 Ring & Ride and Shopmobility service users responded to the recent survey which asked how much they had spent on their shopping trips during the month. The feedback from passengers revealed that they spent around £210,000 during November. This means that the service users spent an estimated £2.52 million in Devon high streets during 2018.

More than 800 additional surveys were completed by passengers using other modes of community transport; this includes voluntary car schemes which are mainly used to help people get to health appointments, community buses in remote rural areas, and other accessible minibuses helping more vulnerable people to get out and about. Passengers on these services had a monthly spend of over £78,620 in November – providing an estimated figure of more than £943,440 for the year.

Over the course of a year, nearly 27,000 passengers use Ring & Ride buses and more than 9,800 access Shopmobility services. These services help people who find it hard to get around, to access their local shops and facilities.

For every pound invested by Devon County Council on Ring & Ride services, over £7.46 is spent in the local economy.

Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for community transport, said: “These figures demonstrate just how important community transport is in Devon and how it helps to support our local economy. Ring & Ride, Shopmobility and other forms of community transport ensure that people are not isolated and lonely. They connect rural communities with their nearest market town, helping residents to access local shops and other vital services. It can make a massive difference to the thousands of people who make use of the transport, and it must be remembered that its success is due to volunteers as well as staff.”

People can find out more about community transport in Devon, if they would like to use the services or support the schemes, by going to the Traveldevon website, or call 01392 382123.

1 comment on “Community transport passengers support local High Streets

  1. Alan Hutson says:

    Community Transport not only supports local shops and businesses, it provides a vital social function in reducing loneliness. The Ring and Ride trip is often the only opportunity for some people who are isolated to meet others and form friendships, both with passengers and the drivers creating a support network. Voluntary car schemes provide vital affordable transport to health appointments. Proposed Government changes to the running of these services, would cause many of the schemes across Devon to close down, with devastating social and economic effects on the most vulnerable.

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