Saturday, 1 March 2014

Mopeds Help Youngsters Get Around

Magnificent seven helped by Wheels2Work
28-02-2014

Seven young people helped by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Wheels2Work programme, recently came together in Flitwick.  They have all been loaned mopeds from Wheels2Work, a scheme run by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and funded by Central Bedfordshire Council.
  
The scheme is open to anyone of working age living in Central Bedfordshire but is targeted, in particular, at 16-24 year olds within Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard who are struggling to get to education, training or work because of transport barriers.
  
The young people all received the loan of a 50cc scooter for up to nine months under the scheme. The group make a range of journeys, including travelling from Harlington to Central Bedfordshire University Technical College in Houghton Regis and travelling from Ampthill to work in Potton as an apprentice veterinary nurse. 
  
The group came together for a regular service at Flitwick Motorcycles and took the opportunity to show off the mopeds and protective equipment they received through the scheme.  There was also the chance for the participants to update their personal sustainable transport plan in preparation for the scheme finishing. The event was organised by Chris Bland, Project Coordinator at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.
  
Student Nathan Marshall from Houghton Regis, who is studying A levels at Luton Sixth Form College, was one of those attending the event.  He said: ‘Before I joined the scheme I was struggling to find a sustainable way of getting to college. Having the moped changed everything. My journey time was cut to just half an hour. I was also able to travel more easily to my part-time job at Phones4You and gained greater independence.’
  
‘The scheme has made an amazing difference to my life. ’I’d recommend it to anyone – in fact I do!’
  
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development said:
‘Wheels2Work is a valuable scheme, helping residents access education, training and employment opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to them.  Each of the young people on the scheme has been enabled to make the most of their potential, which is good not only for them but Central Bedfordshire as a whole.’