May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 31, 2013
I READ the letter claiming our taxes pay for cheap car schemes (January 18) by your anonymous correspondent and I feel that I must reply.
I am a driver for March Community Car Scheme and I would like to correct your reader’s misapprehensions. In fact, the scheme runs at minimal cost to the taxpayer.
It is true that the scheme comes under the services provided by Cambridgeshire County Council but the main reason that the cost is so low is because all the drivers are volunteers who provide their services free of charge.
The customer only has to pay the running cost of the cars in the form of 30p per mile (minimum £3), to which the council adds a further 15p per mile.
There is no other subsidy from public funds and it is difficult to conceive of any such scheme that would cost the taxpayer less as it depends entirely on the goodwill of the volunteers.
It is not a taxi service, it is for the use of those who do not have a car and are unable to use public transport.
Most of my passengers, though not all, are elderly and/or infirm and would be unable to pay for taxi fares. We provide them with a door-to-door service and wait for them so that we can drive them back home, very often helping them to and from the car.
Without this public service, it is difficult to imagine how most of our passengers could manage as most of them would be condemned to remain indoors, especially in winter.
Many of them have told me how grateful they are for the service.