As campaigners raise concerns about disabled residents ‘being shut out of York‘ by footstreet changes, Karen Woodward explains how her service helps everyone to access the city centre
We have been running York Wheels & Dial & Ride for more than 36 years, and are supported by the council to enable residents – especially elderly people, people with disabilities, and people who are unable to access public transport – to maintain their independence.
We pick people up from home on the Dial & Ride service using a timetable system.
We take them to the city centre – drop-off is St Sampson’s Church in the heart of the city. The vehicles are able to carry fixed wheelchairs and, due to Covid restrictions, carry six customers in total on each route.
On other days we go to the large supermarkets. Customers have about one and a half hours to carry out their shopping, then the driver takes them home.
Before the pandemic, the driver would take the shopping into the kitchen for the customer if required. Now however we can only leave it at the front door.
If the customer has a York city bus pass then the fare is only £3.30 return journey – if not it’s £6.
We also run a volunteer car scheme service, once again assisting disabled and elderly to attend all NHS appointments, including the dentist and podiatry. Before Covid you could book the cars for anything you required but now unfortunately we are unable to do this – but we can ensure you receive health care.
The fare for the car scheme is calculated on the distance you wish to travel, and we ensure that the same driver returns you.
All drivers are PPE-protected and Covid risk assessed to ensure the safety of passengers.
Please call the office to discuss your personal requirements and the staff will be very friendly in assisting you.
Our customers return time and time again once they use our schemes they find new freedom and friends.
Karen Woodward is office manager for York Wheels