04 Jan 2017 Last updated at 09:00

Sustainable travel scheme launch

The council has launched a new scheme to support jobseekers with travel to interviews and employment.

The sustainable travel support scheme will focus on providing one to one travel advice and training for active jobseekers on the Island, and offer support with the cost of sustainable transport. While jobseekers already benefit from an existing discount for rail travel, this project will provide support for additional modes including bus, electric bike and the recently launched car club operated through Co Wheels.

The scheme is being delivered in partnership with JobCentre Plus and Sustrans, the UK charity helping people to travel sustainably.

It is one of 11 projects being delivered by the Isle of Wight Council through its Sustainable Travel Transition Year programme, using external funding secured competitively from the Department for Transport.

Isle of Wight Council Executive member for environment and local engagement, Councillor Paul Fuller, welcomed the new initiative and said: “I am delighted that this scheme is available on the Island and am confident that it will play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities that they would have previously avoided due to the costs involved with travelling.

“All well as support access to employment, this scheme has wider benefit for the Island in promoting environmental sustainability and reducing carbon emissions through enabling access to sustainable travel; all of which are important long term aims of the council."

Kerrie Honey, business development manager for Jobcentre Plus on the Island, said: “Jobcentre Plus is thrilled to be working in partnership with Sustrans and the Isle of Wight Council on this exciting new project. Having access to sustainable, reasonably priced transport helps people look at opportunities that they may not have previously been able to consider.”

Clare Dowling, delivery coordinator for Sustrans South, said:”By helping jobseekers access interviews through providing discounts on sustainable and active modes of travel, we hope to open up opportunities and promote healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles on the Island.

“This partnership working with the Isle of Wight Council and the transport providers is representative of Sustrans work across the UK, and this fantastic opportunity plans to help tackle transport poverty and unemployment on the Island.”

Subject to approval by a work coach at the job centre, users can get support with accessing one of the Co-Wheels car club vehicles, sign up to loan an electric bike or obtain a bike loan; obtain cycle training to build confidence on the road or access support for bus travel to interviews, training or a new job.

The scheme is open to all job seekers actively seeking employment and applicants can speak to their work coach at the job centre to find out more about the scheme or can email activestepsiow@sustrans.org.uk  

Further information about the Co-wheels car club scheme is available from www.co-wheels.org.uk/iow 

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Sustainable travel support scheme for jobseek
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Factfile
  • The scheme is being delivered by Isle of Wight Council in partnership with JobCentre Plus and Sustrans.
 
Isle of Wight, UK