Extending moped loan scheme for young people
Friday, 08 March 2013
A loan of two wheels can make a big difference to young people's job prospects. Those living in the East Hampshire, New Forest, Test Valley and Winchester districts of Hampshire are to have the opportunity of low cost moped hire for a further two years.
Hampshire County Council and the relevant district partners have agreed funding to extend 'Wheels to Work', a moped loan scheme operated on behalf of the councils by Community First New Forest.
Wheels to Work aims to give 16-25 year olds the independent means to be able to get to work, vocational training courses or interviews. The focus for Wheels to Work is to help those who live in areas that have limited public transport services, cannot afford their own car and have no other transport options.
Thanks to the joint funding from the councils, fully taxed and insured 50cc mopeds can be hired at low cost for between three to 12 months. A fleet of mopeds is available in each district, at a hire charge of £15 per week per moped.
Hampshire County Council's Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Mel Kendal, commented: "Young people living in rural areas generally need to travel beyond where they live to get to work or to centres where they can undertake vocational training on the path to permanent employment. Public transport options may be limited where they live, and they generally have no transport of their own because they don't have the money to fund this yet. They need a job in order to be able to earn a living which will allow them the means to organise their own transport. Wheels to Work aims to break this cycle and give 16 to 25 year olds a step up on to the ladder of independence."
He continued: "I am pleased that the district councils can see the value of Wheels to Work and are able to support us with funding so that it can continue to run for a further two years to 31 March 2015. This low cost, moped hire scheme has been operating for a number of years now and has benefited around 60 young people in enabling them to make the most of the opportunities available by providing transport to get to work or vocational training.
In the interest of safety, all hirers have to complete compulsory basic training, and are given a high visibility jacket, gloves and helmet - all of which are provided under the scheme. Included in the terms is an exit plan which is agreed with the moped borrower and, in some cases, can make provision for him or her to save up to buy their own transport.
Those wanting to find out more about the Wheels to Work scheme can contact 0845 521 6405