Month: April 2015
An opportunity for you to have your say about what you expect from your bus service:
The Kincardine & Mearns Bus Forum, made up of bus users, bus operators, Community Councillors and Aberdeenshire Councillors, is a very well attended and lively meeting that always has a lot to discuss when it comes to the needs of bus users.
Kincardineshire Development Partnership (KDP) has just launched a Bus Survey on behalf of the Kincardine & Mearns Bus Forum. The survey aims to seek opinions from residents and wants to hear from you what your requirements are for a modern bus service along the route of the X7 and the various number 7 routes.
The X7 express bus route runs the whole length of the K&M Area, mainly along the coast, while the number 7 routes serve the towns and villages between Aberdeen and Stonehaven.
The Aberdeen – Stonehaven corridor has been designated as a strategic growth area by Aberdeenshire Council’s Planning Department and is experiencing a rapid increase in population. Consequently, the A90 is now a very busy road and presents a range of road safety issues as it is considered no longer safe for pedestrians crossing to catch a bus. Residents attending the Bus Forum have been asking for a circular service that will operate between Portlethen and Stonehaven and serve the intervening villages of Cammachmore, Newtonhill, Chapelton and Muchalls.
One part of this survey seeks to gauge the level of demand for such a service. The survey also seeks to receive responses on how best the bus services can meet the everyday as well as the occasional needs of the community.
The survey may be accessed online at http://www.kincardineshiredp.org/surveys.html.
The Facebook link is:
Paper copies of the survey are available from KDP, telephone 01569 763246
The survey runs until 31st May 2015.
Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council
An overview of transport in Kincardine and Mearns by Nestrans’ Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator Lucy Johnston.
Access to Laurencekirk
What is it?
In December 2013, Nestrans commissioned an ‘Access to Laurencekirk’ study in partnership with Transport Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Tactran. The study is being undertaken in the form of the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) assessment, which will consistently explore potential options to address the Laurencekirk transport problems through a detailed consultation process.
Mearns Community Transport (MCT) runs a variety of different transport schemes, available to the residents of the Kincardine and Mearns area.
MCT believe community transport is more than getting folk from A to B. It is about social inclusion, tackling isolation, providing independence and opening opportunities.
The primary service run by MCT is the Community Minibus, which is a fully accessible minibus available for hire to all community groups and organisations in the Mearns. The vehicle is a Mercedes Sprinter minibus which can carry 15 passengers and is available for hire to all community groups and organisations in the Mearns and can be used by these groups for outings or events etc.
The nights are getting shorter, the days are getting warmer and summer is just around the corner. This year get out and about, explore a bit more and improve your health and well-being at the same time, by going along to some of the Ranger Service events. The Rangers’ 2015 Summer Programme launches at Easter, with a mix of family favourites and new events for you to try across Aberdeenshire.
At the end of last year, a Road Safety Education Report revealed the findings of children’s car seat clinics carried out across Aberdeenshire between June and September 2014.
Out of 244 car seats checked, 78% were incorrectly fitted and 40 of the seats had major faults.
The checks were carried out as part of the Good Egg Safety campaign which provides information and advice on in-car child safety.
We spoke to Transport Safety Education Officer Lucy Cramb about the car seat clinics and asked her advice on how to fit your child’s car seat correctly.
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For most of us, getting to the doctors or a health appointment isn’t an issue. We might drive, get a lift with a friend or family member, or get the bus or train. We might be disgruntled over the frequency of the buses, or indeed the cost, but nonetheless we would get there.
But what if we weren’t able to get a lift, or couldn’t afford the bus? We hear about how transport is an issue for the ADP and an initiative they have come up with try and address it.
The APD – what is it?
Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) is a collection of public bodies and citizen activists seeking to draw together interested parties to collectively tackle the issues associated with problematic alcohol and drug use and support recovery from addiction.
The ADP’s three key messages are:
- Addiction can affect anyone. Difficulties with alcohol and drug misuse do not tend to occur because people have been hedonistic or irresponsible. They are more likely to occur because people are trying to cope with significant difficulties in their life and may also be affected by a range of fundamental disadvantages in life, including isolation.
- Recovery from addiction is possible. People should be hopeful that with support, they can follow a pathway of recovery that leads to a happy, fulfilling and contributing life. Some of the most inspirational and serene people you can meet are those who have pursued a recovery journey.
- Stigma and inequities in access to support can inhibit recovery and make addiction worse.
What does the APD do?
Aberdeenshire ADP works with communities on issues of prevention, public protection and recovery. The ADP has an active agenda to involve and engage citizens in improving support services and contributing to their delivery.
The ADP and Transport – what’s the link?
For the last few years, a common response from citizens has been that the availability and affordability of public transport in Aberdeenshire has been a barrier to people accessing the services and support of the ADP. Not only this, but it restrains people from regular aspects of community life which are necessary to engage with the wider community and pursue a journey of recovery.
Substance misuse services aim to support people who can afford to access their services but this isn’t always possible.
How are we resolving these issues?
The ADP’s 3 community forums have tried to support people in need by providing funding for bus passes but have struggled with obtaining funding. Meanwhile, the has ADP sought to influence Transport Scotland to open the existing concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people to include those actively working to recover from addictions. The current criteria for entitlement are here: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/public-transport/concessionary-travel-people-aged-60-or-disability
Similar requests from a number of other ADP’s across Scotland led to Transport Scotland agreeing in October to support a pilot project in Aberdeenshire to test whether temporary dispensations to the concessionary travel schemes would result in improved engagement and recovery outcomes for alcohol and drug clients in order to influence future policy.
How does the Pilot work?
The pilot commenced on 2 December and will run until end March 2015. The pilot enables certain staff in Substance Misuse services to assess whether difficulties in accessing affordable transport are a real barrier to someone making progress on one or more aspects of their agreed recovery plan.
If so, the staff member is able to authorise the person’s application for concessionary travel and will record their deliberations on a simple spreadsheet. This data will be evaluated at the end of the pilot to assess whether the rate of engagement in recovery activities such as care and treatment appointments, mutual aid, or other activities directly related to supporting recovery has increased and whether this has resulted in improvements in individual’s recovery progress.
If we can show that access to concessionary travel support enhances people’s recovery, we hope to persuade government to change eligibility for the scheme on a permanent basis. We hope the business case will stack up and that stigmatising views about people in recovery don’t get in the way.
For more information on the ADP please visit: http://www.aberdeenshireadp.org.uk/ or follow the ADP on Twitter: @abdnshireadp
Think we’ve got transport headaches? How do you think the most populated country in the world copes, especially when 95% of them don’t even own a car?
There are 1.3 BILLION people in China. Personal cars are a fairly recent addition to China’s roads, and thankfully so! Even with the government-limited issuance of license plates through a monthly lottery, the roads are already congested with their inability to contain such an explosion in numbers and constantly needing repair, and air pollution hangs thick. China will likely never hold such numbers like America does in percentage of the population with private cars. So for the 95% who don’t own cars, there have to be efficient, available methods to get around.
on Saturday 11th April from 10-12am.
Join in for a friendly and informal morning to hear all about the project to renovate The Lifeboat House and how you can get involved with this exciting new venture.
The Lifeboat House is largely managed by volunteers and as they embark on our first season open to the public they urgently need more volunteers to help with a range of activities. This could include planning events, welcoming visitors on days the venue is open, organising small exhibitions and working with school groups. They are looking for volunteers with a range of interests and will provide training to suit to ensure a highly rewarding and social experience.
They will be joined on the day by Sandy Stewart from The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen, who will be talking about his experience volunteering for over 15 years.
There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the project and the work of the Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society as well as a chance to have a chat with a cuppa and fine piece.
The project began after the society was gifted the Lifeboat House in order to store and display a growing collection of photographs and artefacts relating to the heritage of Johnshaven and Benholm. It is hoped the venue will not only provide a place for people to come and enjoy this rich heritage but also an exciting hub for talks, performance, art shows and much more!
If you would like to be involved in this project, they would love to hear from you. They are looking for volunteers to be involved in all aspects of running the heritage hub. Or, if you have memories of life in the Johnshaven and Benholm area which you would be happy to share they would delighted for you to get in touch.
Contact: Donald Marr, Chair of Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society, 01561 361658