VULNERABLE people from Hartlepool can now travel safely across the Tees Valley in the knowledge that help is close at hand.
Hartlepool Borough Council has signed up to the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme which enables travellers to seek help via a network of buildings, businesses and facilities.
Assistance is provided by trained staff and can include help with reading a timetable, giving directions, making a telephone call to relatives or simply providing a safe waiting place.
Hartlepool council previously operated a similar scheme within the town – the Community Travel Support Network but it has opted to sign up to the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme to ensure “consistency” with the rest of the Tees Valley.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “It is great that the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme is gathering momentum and by working together in this way – with the support of local companies and organisations – we are helping to make sure that more and more vulnerable people are less likely to be subjected to harassment.”
Labour councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, council leader, said: “It is important that vulnerable people are given the confidence to travel independently as this can have a big impact on their quality of life.
“The Community Travel Support Network has worked well in Hartlepool but I think it is the right move to bring the town in line with the rest of the Tees Valley. This will enable people to travel further afield knowing that help isn’t far away should they need it.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partner companies and organisations because without their backing it wouldn’t be possible to operate the scheme.”
Locations where help is available clearly display the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme logo.
In Hartlepool, the original “Safe on the Move” logo of the Community Travel Support Network continues to be used alongside this logo while people get used to the change.
For more information call the council’s Passenger Transport Services Team on (01429) 523695.