An exciting new transport initiative has been launched in Gateshead.  The Green Light to Work scheme, part of the Go Smarter to Work programme,  is designed to assist residents of Western Gateshead (the most rural part of Tyne and Wear) who are out of work and have been offered a job or training opportunity, but have no means of getting there.

Their travel needs will be assessed and, if there is no suitable public transport option available, they will be given the chance to hire a scooter or electric bike at low cost.  The scheme will even pay for the cost of training and safety equipment/clothing.

John Bourn, from the Go Smarter Core Team, who is project managing the scheme, commented: “We know that there are residents without cars who have trouble getting to employment sites.  Getting to and from shift work can be a particular problem.  At the same time, employers sometimes find it hard to recruit people with the right skills.  This scheme helps both parties.”

GLTW launch event

The picture above shows one of the scooters that will be available for hire under the scheme, with (left to right) Cllr Gladys Hobson (vice-chair of ITA), Cllr John McElroy, Liz Prudhoe (ADAPT) and John Bourn (Go Smarter Core Team).

Councillor John McElroy, Gateshead’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, stated that: “Gateshead Council are strong supporters of Go Smarter and of this new scheme. Helping people – especially young people – find rewarding jobs or training is good for our communities and good for our economy. Green Light to Work will provide them with the means to get there.”

Green Light to Work is delivered by ADAPT (North East), a social enterprise based in Hexham, and the scooters used on the scheme are bought locally, providing further benefits to the regional economy.  If you want to know more about the scheme, please contact Helen from ADAPT on 0845 388 0042.