A TRAVEL scheme to help people with special needs to get around has received backing from 149 businesses.
Today, Councillor Pam Hargreaves praised the firms who have thrown their support behind The Community Travel Support Network, which is run by Hartlepool Borough Council.
The initiative is designed to help vulnerable people gain confidence to travel independently and use different modes of transport, including bus services.
It involves creating a network of buildings, businesses and facilities where people requiring support while travelling around the town can obtain assistance from trained staff.
Such assistance can include help with reading a timetable, giving directions, help with making a telephone call or simply providing a safe waiting place.
So far, 149 businesses and organisations have expressed an interest in joining the scheme, 24 have had their staff fully trained, while workers at a further 16 are currently being trained.
They can be identified as being part of the scheme through signs featuring the Safe on the Move in Hartlepool logo that must be displayed on their premises.
Coun Hargreaves, the council’s cabinet member for transport and neighbourhoods, said: “The extent of support shown for this initiative has delighted us and we would like to thank all of the businesses and organisations that have come forward.
“Through this scheme, vulnerable people should be more easily able to access a range of local facilities, leading to an improvement in their quality of life.”
Businesses or organisations wanting more information about the Community Travel Support Network or transport users who feel they could benefit from the scheme should call Kevin Hall, the council’s transport officer, on (01429) 523695.