Driving Mobility Helen Dolphin
Helen Dolphin MBE, Chair of a regional Driving Mobility centre and leading accessible travel expert, is a strong advocate of the Hubs pilot project

Supported by the Department for Transport, Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits a nationwide network of driving assessment centres, has successfully introduced its new ‘Hubs’ pilot scheme to broaden information and guidance regarding accessible travel.

Launched across seven regional centres, the new transportation information hubs comes amidst a shift towards a more accessible society championed by government initiatives including the ‘A Connected Society’ strategy and The Department for Transport’s ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy.’

Complementing existing driving assessment services, these new resources will focus on reducing social isolation through more effective use of accessible transport and greater independent mobility, says the charity.

Each centre will aim to deliver a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to providing viable options for elderly and disabled non-drivers – ranging from information on accessible public and community transport through to mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

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Edward Trewhella, CEO for Driving Mobility, commented: “The launch of the pilot Hubs scheme is a significant milestone for our charity and its service users. This new provision of advice and information delivers multiple benefits for the public, communities, local authorities and the health service.”

Nusrat Ghani, MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, said: “While many take for granted the ability to travel easily from A to B, access for the fifth of people who identify as disabled can be far from straightforward. We want disabled people to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost.”

Driving Mobility oversees 20 individual organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain or retain the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability.

With centres operating either as independent charities or within an NHS Trust and across the UK, seven of these centres now offer a more holistic approach to personal mobility information, assessment and advice.

Operating with Approved Driving Instructors, Occupational Therapists and professional transport advisors, the Hubs centres are Cornwall Mobility Centre, East Anglian DriveAbility, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF), Wessex Driveability, South East DriveAbility, RDAC, and North East Drive Mobility.

Driving Mobility is also running a similar pilot project in North East London to establish what is needed in the way of support for encouraging more outdoor mobility and combatting loneliness and social exclusion through providing guidance to accessible transport options.

“Social prescription is a key strategy to combat isolation and depression through pro-actively linking elderly and disabled people with their community, family and friends. With greater mobility, people are less likely to need care-related support as lifestyles can be more rewarding and well-being is improved,” continued Edward.

“With easier access to our knowledge, both transport users and operators can reduce risk and accidents with an enhanced travel experience for all. This is hugely significant in relation to reducing monetary pressures on the NHS and social care.”

According to the disabled driving charity, each Hub centre has introduced an individualised range of services with the common goal of providing transport advice in one location for those who no longer use a private car.

For example, Southampton-based Wessex DriveAbility has focused on its Goingcarfree.com digital platform, an easy-to-navigate website designed with accessibility in mind. Other centres have taken different approaches confirmed the charity; however, all have been trained to identify signs of loneliness and how to mitigate social exclusion.

“We have now built upon our core driving assessment services to offer a truly holistic approach so that personal mobility continues after a driving licence is revoked or use of private car becomes unviable,” finished Edward.

“No longer is there a need to search with the potential for confusion or misinterpretation, Driving Mobility Hub centres deliver a singular, concise resource, for greater clarity and ultimately easier accessible travel.”

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Driving_Mobility_Helen_2.jpg?fit=900%2C586&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Driving_Mobility_Helen_2.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettGovernment & LegislationNewsroomThird Sectorcharity,Cornwall Mobility Centre,DfT,Driving Mobility,East Anglian DriveAbility,Edward Trewhella,Hubs,Inclusive Transport Strategy,North East Drive MobilityDepartment for Transport,Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People (QEF),RDAC,South East DriveAbility,transport advice,Wessex DriveabilitySupported by the Department for Transport, Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits a nationwide network of driving assessment centres, has successfully introduced its new 'Hubs' pilot scheme to broaden information and guidance regarding accessible travel. Launched across seven regional centres, the new transportation information hubs comes amidst a shift towards...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals