Disproportionate cut to disability transport scheme must be reconsidered – Lyttle

Alliance Regional Development spokesperson, Chris Lyttle MLA, has urged the Minister for Regional Development to reconsider the level of cuts that have been imposed on the Disability Action Transport Scheme.The level of funding they receive from DRD has been cut by 21% for this financial year. There will also be a 100% cut to group service funding and to mobility centre funding.

The scheme operates in 29 urban areas in Northern Ireland and provides transport for people with disabilities and older people who may find it difficult to use mainstream public transport.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “All Ministers are having to make some very difficult financial decisions, but I am very concerned by the level of cuts to the Disability Action Transport Scheme.

“This is a valuable service that helps improve the mobility of people with disabilities and older people. I asked the Minister for his assessment of the level of cuts to this service, in which he replied that the impact would be minimal. However, we have been told that there will be fare rises, reduction in hours of service and staff redundancies. The Minister must reconsider his decision to impose such a disproportionate cut to this service.

“The Minister needs to show some leadership and investigate possible savings and revenue raising elsewhere in his Department.

“The vulnerable will be affected by the cuts to this service. This is something that the SDLP, Sinn Fein and Green Party should be aware of as we soon see the impact of their decision to block the welfare legislation. The people that they claim they were trying to protect will be worse off.”


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