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SCOTS COMMUNITY TRANSPORT GETS£150,000 FUNDING BOOST

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The importance of local community transport initiatives to the government's future transport strategy was underline...
The importance of local community transport initiatives to the government's future transport strategy was underlined today when Henry McLeish confirmed a£146,000 funding boost to two innovative schemes.

The Scottish transport minister announced approval of the Community Transport Association's (CTA) applications for£45,000 over three years for an expanded Scottish Advice and Information Service and funding the CTA's new Scottish rural transport initiative to the tune of£101,000 over the same period.

Mr McLeish said:

'With population sparsity in many parts of Scotland, localised community transport initiatives must play a key role alongside some of the higher profile transport projects currently being developed.

'The local initiatives will rightly have an increasingly important part to play in the future in ensuring that nobody is excluded from accessible and affordable transport services.

'These grants to the Community Transport Association demonstrate the government's clear willingness to show support in Scotland for voluntary local measures to meet special transport needs.

'The Information Service has demonstrated its value to many voluntary groups since its inception nearly three years ago and I am sure the Scottish Rural Transport Initiative will provide a significant stimulus for activity in rural areas.'

NOTES

1.The CTA is the national body for the community transport sector. It covers a diverse range of transport providers such as charities and community groups.

2.The CTA started its Scottish Advice and Information Service (SAIS) 3 years ago following a funding award from The Scottish Office. The SAIS provides free and authoritative information on a wide range of issues for those interested in developing community transport. The SAIS has only operated on four afternoons a week until now and the additional grant will allow the service to be expanded.

3.The CTA also submitted an application to establish and operate a Scottish Rural Transport Initiative. This essentially involves the establishment, for the first time in Scotland, of a national post to

encourage, foster and support the development of innovative solutions to transport difficulties encountered in rural areas. The grant award is£39,000,£31,000 and£31,000 over the three year period from 1998-99.

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