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All aboard for new Council Travel Scheme

Published Monday, 11 July 2011

Last week a brand new scheme to help adults with learning difficulties get out and about in the borough on public transport was launched by Enfield Council.

The scheme, called First Route, sees a fully functional double decker bus, donated by Arriva, driving a continual circular route in Edmonton one day a month between 10.30am till 2.30pm. The scheme is a partnership between TfL, the police, Arriva Buses and One to One Enfield.
Staffed by different organisations the bus will take people with learning difficulties on and off stops throughout the route to get them used to public transport and safe independent travel.

Police officers play out scenarios that service users may see on the buses, such as arguments, people being aggressive or acting in a hostile way. They are also shown how to deal with these incidents safely. Some of these role plays were acted out on the bus on the first trip, many of those on the bus asked questions about how they should deal with these problems if they saw them, especially of interest was the part involving a person coming onto the bus and being aggressive to other bus users.
Cllr Don McGowan, Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Care, who was on the very first bus trip said "Lots of adults with learning difficulties have never used public transport on their own and many more are very nervous about using it.
"This project will show them how to use a bus and to familiarise them with the idea of getting on and off stops, hailing a bus and how to signal they want to get off. It's to make them comfortable with the idea of public travel so that they can become more independent and use real buses in the network without help.
"I was delighted to be on the opening bus trip and to share the celebrations with the users of our services and our partners who have made this project possible."

Transport for London Operations Director Mike Weston said  "We are pleased to be working with Enfield Council on this project. 

"Bus Days provide a fantastic opportunity for disabled Londoners to experience independent travel on London Buses in a safe and controlled environment; they also give us an opportunity to highlight the innovative TfL Travel Mentoring Service.  

"We hope those people who took part in the Bus Day in Enfield yesterday found it a useful experience that will enable them to travel on the bus network in future."

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