Wheels to Work scheme helps residents access jobs and training

Press Release: 02/10/2015

A scheme that loans out mopeds at low cost is enabling Winchester’s residents to access work and vocational training.

Community First New Forest is operating the Wheels to Work scheme on behalf of Winchester City Council, as part of a wider project led by Hampshire County Council. The project gives people the means to get to work, vocational training or interviews. Mopeds can be hired from three to 12 months.

Robert has used the scheme to get to his job at Winnall in Winchester. He said: “The Wheels to Work moped loan scheme has allowed me to get to places I would not have been able to travel to before. I live in South Wonston and getting to Winnall at the right time was not possible by public transport, as I work shifts and weekends. I would have had to decline the job if I couldn’t get myself there.”

There have been 54 users of the scheme since it was first launched in 2010. Forty-seven have been able to get to new jobs using the mopeds, and seven have been able to access training they would have otherwise missed out on.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Cllr Seán Woodward, said:

Wheels to Work provides people with a real opportunity to get themselves back into employment with no excuses and allows the person to save up for their own transport in the future. The scheme also aims to boost the economy by providing businesses with the workforce they need especially businesses located in more rural areas which are not on public transport routes.

Cllr James Byrnes, Portfolio Holder for Local Economy at Winchester City Council, understands the value of the scheme. He said:

We know public transport, especially in the rural parts of the District, does not cater for every need, so this scheme is one way of helping people to access jobs and training. Alongside our employment mentoring scheme, we are making a real difference to people who need our help to contribute to our local economy.

To find out more about the Wheels to Work scheme, Alison Wells the Wheels to Work Co-ordinator can be contacted on: 07896 212198 / 01425 481546 mopedloan@cfnf.org.uk / www.cfnf.org.uk