Mopeds could kick-start village teenagers' careers

PUBLISHED: 06:45 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:18 24 May 2010

MOPEDS could soon be handed to teenagers who are struggling to get to work because of poor public transport in North Somerset villages. School leavers in rural areas of the district are finding it difficult to launch their careers because buses to employm

MOPEDS could soon be handed to teenagers who are struggling to get to work because of poor public transport in North Somerset villages.School leavers in rural areas of the district are finding it difficult to launch their careers because buses to employment hotspots like Weston or Bristol do not run regularly enough.But a charity is battling to get funding to start a 'Wheels 2 Work' project, where youngsters would borrow mopeds to get them on the road and into the workplace.Community Action, a charity serving rural communities in the former Avon area, is confident it can get funding for the mopeds. It hopes it can use them to help youngsters get to employers such as Bristol International Airport and Weston General Hospital.A similar project has been a big success in Gloucester, where employment for school leavers has been boosted.Under the scheme, youngsters would be loaned a moped for around six months. Once they are financially on their feet and can afford to buy their own moped they would return the loaned bike to the charity.The charity has bid for cash from the South West Regional Development Agency through its 'Rural Renaissance' programme.Community Action project assistant for transport, Victoria Chubb, said: "It would primarily be a scheme for teenagers in rural areas but could extend to anyone who struggles to get to work."We have had several positive conversations with career advice centre Connexions, which gets a lot of questions from teenagers about transport and hopefully it will be on board."We are not sure exactly where we will be based at the moment but we looking to get village teenagers to places such as Avonmouth, Weston hospital and Bristol International Airport. It has been hugely successful in Gloucester and we really hope it can help youngsters here as well.

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