Community transport service ‘back in operation soon’

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A community transport service which ceased suddenly on Thursday says it hopes to be back in operation soon.

Community Transport Sussex provides travel services for disabled and elderly people throughout Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex.

Many people, including wheelchair users and stroke patients, were left in the lurch when the company suddenly suspended its services.

In a statement today, Community Transport Sussex (CTS) said it was “a charitable organisation providing community transport services across Mid-Sussex, Crawley and Horsham District.

“Unfortunately due to conflicting information from different government agencies as a result of recent changes to guidance from the Department of Transport, which affects the whole of England, CTS has had to temporarily withdraw its services although we continue to work with our sponsors and stakeholders to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. 

“CTS are urgently requesting clarification in writing from the DfT, the Traffic Commission Office and other Government agencies. This has been a very difficult situation for CTS as we understand that this is affecting the most vulnerable in our society. 

“We continue to investigate and wish to start operating again as soon as possible although we must ensure compliance to protect our staff, and service users. 

“CTS regret this temporary inconvenience to our customers and hope to be able to resume soon, following our continued investigation. CTS shall provide an update as soon as we are able.”

And a spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “We recognise that buses provide a vital service in communities, and particularly in more remote areas.

“Some community transport operators will need to ensure they and their drivers have professional licenses, especially if they compete for commercial contracts.

“We have to make these changes because of EU law and plan to consult later this year on which operators will require professional licences. We expect that most smaller operators will not be affected.”