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What is “Network Rider” ?

The Network Rider is one of Bedfordshire’s local community minibus schemes.
It is going to be managed and driven by volunteers from the area.
The Problems with transport and the location of services contribute to social exclusion by preventing people from participating in work or learning, or
accessing healthcare, food shopping and other local activities.These problems may impact on individuals and on community of Bedford as a whole.
The most significant impacts of the costs of travel are on young people and low-
income households, particularly when travelling to from employment, education and
training. People with disabilities may also suffer, due to limited transport choices,whilst unemployed adults also have difficulties in accessing services
(including training), again due to low incomes.

History

The County Council is able to offer free travel under the terms of the Education & Inspections Act 2006.
Under this Act local authorities are required to provide free transport for children aged 8 -11 from low income Families, who attend their nearest appropriate school and live more than two miles but less than six miles from The school; and for children aged 11-16 who attend one of their 3 nearest qualifying schools where they live more than 2 miles, but not more than 6 miles from that school.

Bedford Borough council was assisting with free home to school Transport related to low income households.
The meeting was held in June 2012 at St.Gregory’s RC school Hall regarding home to school transport matter.
In attendance were Local authority’s representative, Transport companies, Head teachers from Roman Catholic schools and parents.
At meeting, local authority’s representative stated that Bedford Borough Council due to budget cut will not continue providing a free home to school transport service.
And the privilege scheme bus pass will not be available for next Academic year 2011/2012.

The parents were obliged to negotiate directly with the Transport companies especially those who were working but it was not easy for unemployment parents. Many proposals were made. The parents exchanged phone numbers according to the areas they still live.

The idea was in each area or location, the parents have to put in place a car sharing scheme as an alternative home to school reliable mode of transport.
Nothing serious has happened since and the parents are stressed and exhausted. It was in these circumstances that the Network Rider was set up.

The charity’s aim is to provide a sustainable transport service to children and young people in not Education, Employment and Training (NEET) from low income households in order to address social exclusion.
In the meantime, the project will help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution around the schools and parents with the stress of the school run and financial strain.
With the experience and well motivated Team of parents.

The charity will develop a high quality, safe and efficient Transport service for children between home school and home training centres for young people those who are not in Education, Employment and training (NEET).

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