Alongside many stakeholders and associates, Councillor Stuart Davis and Mrs Sarah Walker have officially begun construction of the new RDAC disabled driving assessment headquarters in Hampton in Arden, part of the national Driving Mobility network.
RDAC is an independent charity with driving assessment centres located centrally within the UK. Its Birmingham headquarters will relocate to these new flagship Solihull premises when construction is completed in early 2020. RDAC is accredited by the nationwide charity Driving Mobility which is regarded as the national voice of assisted driving and independence. Driving Mobility oversees twenty independent organisations, similar to RDAC, 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.
Councillor Stuart Davis, Mayor of Solihull, commented: “I am honoured to perform this ceremony today and are delighted that RDAC have chosen Solihull as their new home. The location is ideal in terms of accessibility and we look forward to seeing how this new centre helps disabled individuals from across the local area gain more independence.”
The ceremony was well attended by representatives from various organisations who are responsible for the design, construction and delivery of Driving Mobility’s latest RDAC centre. Alongside the Mayor and Mayoress, attendees included:
- Sue Rogers MBE, Manager for the Mobility Centres of England, Accessibility Policy Team, Active Accessible Travel, Department for Transport
- Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility
- Colin Barnett, CEO, RDAC, and RDAC colleagues
- John Bridgewater, Commercial Manager, Mossvale, and colleagues
- Neil Chadwick, Client Relations Manager Charities, CAF Bank
- Mark Emeny, Director, Emeny Turley Partnership Limited
- Nicholas Barlow, Managing Director, Packington Estate Enterprises Limited, and colleagues
The new RDAC centre in Solihull will serve people throughout the Midlands and will be operated by a team of qualified ADIs (Approved Driving Instructors), Occupational Therapists and Administrative Staff. This team will be focused on maximising road safety through clinical recommendations regarding appropriate adapted vehicles and specialist driving controls.
Colin Barnett, Chief Executive of RDAC comments: “Today, the team and I are feeling ecstatic that construction of our new headquarters has begun. We would like to thank everyone involved with making this happen. This milestone has taken several years to achieve however we can all look forward to helping more individuals gain driving freedom with additional capacity and extra services. Our relocation from central Birmingham has been the result of HS2 however our new premises will be situated in a more relaxed and calming rural atmosphere. We believe this will add value to the client experience resulting in greater confidence and clarity during the assessment process. Overall this scenic location will be better for everyone.”
Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility, concludes: “The latest RDAC centre will be absolutely fantastic especially as it is purpose built for our services. An undercover all-weather area for vehicle assessments, an adjoining closed road for test drives, calming ambience and excellent transport links – it couldn’t be better. The facilities will be such an improvement on RDAC’s previous headquarters and will provide the perfect base to develop more outreach centres across the Midlands. I concur with Colin in thanking all concerned.”