SOUTH Tyneside Council has outlined the eligibility rules for free transport available to services users hit by day centre closures.
Many face longer journeys as their centres are axed as the result of a council shake-up.
People using the Wilfred Street day centre in Boldon Colliery and Hampden Street day centre in South Shields, now face a journey to the Father James Walsh Centre in Hebburn.
But many will have access to free transport – if they meet certain criteria.
Eligibility is determined by an assessment against criteria agreed in January.
That criteria is that transport will be provided if a client is unable to walk or use mobility aids (motorised scooter/wheelchair) assisted or unassisted or is unable to use public transport, voluntary transport or Dial a Ride-type services assisted or unassisted.
The council would also help people, particularly younger adults with a learning disability, who struggle with public transport to develop the relevant skills to use it and can demonstrate that any mobility-related benefits they receive are spent on relevant other mobility-related activities.
A council spokesman said: “Everyone currently eligible will continue to receive it.
“New referrals will be assessed on individual circumstances with nobody being left at risk of missing out on their services due to travel.”