Our History

No 1 the "Popemobile"

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“Travel is a journey for the mind as well as the body”   

The Exeter Disability Transport Service was created in August 1981 as a result of initiatives generated by the “International Year for the Disabled”as sponsored by UNESCO in 1980 

 The service was created to provide help to the disabled of Exeter and district to provide a measure of mobility. It enables customers the opportunity to travel independently and provides a sense of dignity and freedom. The Popemobile was purchased from funds raised by the “Committee for the Disabled” and a contribution from Devon County Council

No 2 "Rosie"

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Our second and third vehicles were Ford Transit Mini busses named “Rosie” and “The Chairman” purchased with donations received from Age Concern and the Devonair Wheels Appeal  


In 1985 at the behest of the late Bert Hartnell we were instrumental in setting up a sister branch based in Dawlish by donating a vehicle and some start up funding. This service became independent from EDTS a few years later

No 9

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In 1990 we were involved in establishing the Exeter Ring and Ride service which we managed for some years on behalf of Devon County Council

In 1999 our name was extended to Freedomwheels

We have operated 22 vehicles since we began in 1981.  All have been purchased with donations raised by ourselves, or via funds provided by organisations and businesses including the National Lottery