Taxi card scheme is extended

Councillor Colin Smyth, Joe McGurk Board Member DGVoice, Harry Thomson Head of Integrated Transport & Commissioning at Dumfries and Galloway Council
Councillor Colin Smyth, Joe McGurk Board Member DGVoice, Harry Thomson Head of Integrated Transport & Commissioning at Dumfries and Galloway Council

A new taxi card scheme for Dumfries and Galloway’s less-abled residents has been extended following a £115,000 cash boost.

The tax card scheme has been inoperation since 1989 giving £100 annual credit to those eligible which can be used to buy taxi service from participating operators.

The scheme is available to residents of Dumfries and Galloway who are registered blind; in receipt of higher rate mobility element of DLA or PIP Mobility Component Standard or Enhanced Rate; over the age of 60 and have a severe restriction of mobility or in receipt of War Pensioner Mobility Supplement.

Under the new system, users that want to travel with McLeans Taxis based in Stranraer, Newton Stewart and Dumfries will receive a card containing £100 credit. All other taxi operators on the scheme will be paid using a voucher with scheme members receiving 50 x £2 vouchers.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chairman of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “The new Taxicard scheme was a key measure in our recent budget to support vulnerable people across the region. It will provide those eligible with £100 to help towards the cost of taxi journeys, which in many cases is the difference between whether they can or can’t get out and about.

Although the current scheme was a real lifeline for many people, the number of taxi operators providing the scheme was limited in some areas. However, thanks to the extra investment of £105,000 a year agreed in the budget the new scheme, which comes into affect on 1 April will be significantly improved, with more taxi operators than ever before.”

“We have written to the 1115 existing users making them aware of the new scheme but anyone who believes they could qualify for the scheme should contact the council.”

Letters to around 1115 active users have been distributed asking them to choose their preferred payment method and clearly outlining the new system. The new Taxicard Scheme will be up and running from 1 April.