Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher; Barry Coppinger; Jayne Brown, Hartlepool Council; Peter Butler from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust; Hartlepool Council Transport Officer Kevin Hall; and John Oliver from the town’s Vue cinema.
Vulnerable people from Hartlepool can now travel safely across the Tees Valley in the knowledge that help is close at hand.
Hartlepool Council has signed up to the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme which enables travellers to seek help via a network of buildings, businesses and facilities.
Assistance is provided by trained staff and can include help with reading a timetable, giving directions, making a telephone call to relatives or simply providing a safe waiting place.
Hartlepool Council previously operated a similar scheme within the town - the Community Travel Support Network - but it has opted to sign up to the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme to ensure consistency with the rest of the Tees Valley.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger welcomed the decision on a visit to the town, where he was joined by Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Council; and representatives of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Hartlepool’s Vue cinema, both of which support the scheme.
Mr Coppinger said: “It is great that the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme is gathering momentum and by working together in this way – with the support of local companies and organisations - we are helping to make sure that more and more vulnerable people are less likely to be subjected to harassment.”
Councillor Akers-Belcher added: “It is important that vulnerable people are given the confidence to travel independently as this can have a big impact on their quality of life.
“The Community Travel Support Network has worked well in Hartlepool but I think it is the right move to bring the town in line with the rest of the Tees Valley. This will enable people to travel further afield knowing that help isn’t far away should they need it.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partner companies and organisations because without their backing it wouldn’t be possible to operate the scheme.”
Locations where help is available clearly display the Teeswide Safe Places Scheme logo.
In Hartlepool, the original “Safe on the Move” logo of the Community Travel Support Network continues to be used alongside this logo while people get used to the change.
Further information on how individuals can register with the scheme – and details of the venues providing support – can be obtained from Hartlepool Council’s Passenger Transport Services Team on (01429) 523695.
Posted on Tuesday 24th June 2014