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Transport Minister Announces Support for Wheels to Work Campaign

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The 'Wheels to Work' scheme that helps young people in rural areas of the UK get vital access to employment and educational opportunities through the provision of a motorcycle or scooter has received public support from the Transport Minister in his Commons speech.

In a Ministerial Statement (19 Jan ) (1) launching the Government's White Paper "Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon" [2] Norman Baker MP, Under-Secretary of State for Transport, acknowledges the value of Wheels to Work.  Baker commented,  'Wheels to Work' schemes provide transport to people who are unable to access training, employment or education, due to a lack of suitable public or private transport.  Schemes can, therefore, particularly benefit people living in isolated rural communities and can play an important part in helping people to come off benefits and regain their independence."

The White Paper and its associated Local Sustainable Transport Fund will help the Government to meet its key objectives of creating a transport system that helps create growth in the economy and can help tackle climate change.

The funds that will be made available are to help Local Authorities meet their local transport needs by putting together a package that will enable local people to travel more sustainably and cost-effectively. Wheels to Work was identified as one such scheme that could benefit from this fund.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) is a strong supporter of the Wheels to Work scheme and has been involved in political lobbying activities to help secure funding and develop the project across the UK. Solutions offered by the projects can include the loan of scooters, mopeds, power assisted bikes or bicycles and in some cases assistance with meeting car running costs giving young people, especially in urban areas, kick start for their future

The MCI welcomes the announcement of support and recognition for the schemes, but  now we have to ensure that some of the money being made available will be used for these types of projects.

Steve Kenward, MCI's CEO commented, " Government support for this valuable scheme is the first step in the right direction.  The next challenge is to ensure that there is appropriate funding available and accessible to the projects.

"Individuals who have taken part in Wheels to Work have commented on how empowering the scheme has been, how it has opened doors that would have previously been closed and how training has enhanced their career prospects. We now need to work in partnership to ensure the continuation and expansion of the scheme."

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