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What is Community Transport?

Community Transport is the name given to any type of transport run on a not-for- profit basis to assist people who cannot access private or public transport for any reason.

There might be a variety of reasons why people use Community Transport such as:

  • Lack of available transport

  • Cost

  • Mobility reasons

  • Health reasons

  • Personal reasons

Community Transport mobilises and engages local communities, as in Wiltshire and Swindon it is provided by charities and voluntary organisations (which are often very small and local), and often harnesses the experience and energy of volunteers who give freely of their time to help others.

In Wiltshire and Swindon Community Transport schemes take children to school, sick people to healthcare and older and disabled people to the shops. It also runs local bus routes and provides transport for a wide range of clubs, community organisations and care homes.

In addition the people that use Community Transport locally often help to shape the services they want. 

For more information on the different types of Community Transport services provided in Wiltshire and Swindon please click here.

Community Transport services in Wiltshire and Swindon

In Wiltshire and Swindon there are a variety of Community Transport schemes including:

  • Community Minibus/MPV schemes

  • Link schemes

  • Shopmobility schemes

  • Social car schemes

For a general description of each type of Community Transport scheme please see the information below.

For details of the Community Transport schemes available in your local area please click here.

In Wiltshire, the Community Transport services provided by some local community minibus groups and voluntary car (Link) schemes is subsidised by Wiltshire Council.

Local communities charity Community First also provides advice to the network of community minibus schemes and Link schemes across Wiltshire and Swindon to help them provide and develop vital transport services for the local community. In Wiltshire this work in is funded by Wiltshire Council.

Community Minibus/MPV Schemes 

In Wiltshire and Swindon Community Minibus/MPV Schemes run transport services for the community by the community on a not-for-profit basis. There are 22 Community Minibus/MPV schemes in Wiltshire and Swindon operating around 60 vehicles (mainly minibuses but also some people carriers). The majority of vehicles run by local Community Minibus/MPV schemes are wheelchair accessible.

Locally these groups are managed mainly by volunteers using a mixture of paid and voluntary drivers. Many of these groups are registered charities.

Local Community Minibus/MPV schemes make a charge to people who use their services. Details of the prices charged by each individual group are obtainable by viewing the Community Transport schemes available in your local area (please click here for details)

In Wiltshire and Swindon Community Minibus/MPV schemes offer a range of services including:

i. Pre-bookable services – Pre-bookable services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes tend to be for individuals who do not have or cannot access alternative means of public or private transport. Locally pre-bookable services are often in the form of regular trips for groups of people who book their seats in advance.  Most trips tend to be for shopping.  

These services are not public bus services but passengers must either be members of the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the service; people the Community Minibus/MPV scheme is set up to help (such as older people) or people who live within a defined local community whose public transport needs are not met in other ways.  Typically, passengers must register with the group running the service and book in advance.   Passengers normally pay for the cost of their trip either directly, by paying a fare, or indirectly through membership fees. Locally many Community Minibus /MPV schemes running pre-bookable services accept bus passes.

Each group running pre-bookable services may have restrictions on the passengers they can carry.

For more details about the pre-bookable services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes in your local area please click here.

ii. Scheduled public transport services – Scheduled public transport services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes are local bus services which are open to anyone to use. These types of services are run according to a timetable and, just like any other bus service, passengers do not need to book in advance to use these services.

Passengers pay for the cost of their trip directly by paying a fare. Locally all Community Minibus/MPV schemes running scheduled public transport services accept bus passes on these services.

These types of services are less common in Wiltshire and Swindon but thanks to recent changes in the law may become more so.

For more details about the scheduled public transport services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes in your local area please click here.

iii. Trips / days out– Depending on the type of licence a Community Minibus/MPV scheme operates under, trips and days out run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes can either be for:

  1. members of the group running the service; people the group is set up to help (such as older people), disabled people or people in education

or

  1. any member of the general public  

Passengers need to book their trip / day out in advance with the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the service. Bus passes cannot be accepted on trips / days out.

For more details about the Trips / days out run by Community Minibus/MPV scheme in your local area please click here.

iv. Group transport (with driver) services  –  Depending on the type of licence the Community Minibus/MPV scheme operates under, Group transport (with driver) services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes can either be for:

  1. group members of the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the service; groups of people that the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the services are set up to help (such as groups of older people), disabled groups or groups from schools, colleges, universities or similar

or

  1. any group of passengers from the general public  

Group transport (with driver) services allow groups of passengers to be transported using a driver supplied by the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running these services.

These services need to be booked in advance with the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running them. Bus passes cannot be accepted on these services.

For more details about the Group transport (with driver) services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes in your local area including the types of passenger groups that each Community Minibus/MPV scheme can carry please click here.

v. Group transport (self-drive) services  –  Depending on the type of licence the Community Minibus/MPV schemes operates under, Group transport (self-drive) services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes can either be for:

  1. group members of the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the service; groups of people that the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running the services are set up to help (such as groups of older people), disabled groups or groups from schools, colleges, universities or similar

or

  1. any group of passengers from the general public  

In Wiltshire and Swindon the majority of Community Minibus/MPV schemes require drivers from groups requesting Group transport (self-drive) services to register with them and meet criteria they stipulate (such as driving license, driver training or age requirements).

These services need to be booked in advance with the Community Minibus/MPV scheme running them. Bus passes cannot be accepted on these services.

For more details about the Group transport (self-drive) services run by Community Minibus/MPV schemes in your local area including the types of passenger groups that each scheme can carry please click here.

Link schemes

Link schemes are community-based, volunteer run charities based predominantly in Wiltshire that aim to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged, elderly or infirm people by providing a structured ‘good neighbour’ service.

Link schemes predominantly provide a support service to enable those without access to transport to access local services and facilities.  The service is provided by volunteers using their own cars and - depending on volunteer availability - can involve taking someone to a medical appointment, taking them shopping or to visit an old friend. Some Link schemes also can provide ‘good neighbour’ care.

For people using Link scheme transport services, a donation is requested from passengers using Link volunteers’ cars to cover the mileage expenses incurred by the volunteers.

Each Link scheme is run by a group of local volunteers managed by a local Link Co-ordinator.  Users wishing to use the scheme simply call their local co-ordinator who will then endeavour to arrange for a volunteer to carry out the task.

In Wiltshire, the Community Transport services provided by some Link schemes is subsidised by Wiltshire Council.

For more details about Link schemes in your local area please click here.

Shopmobility schemes

Shopmobility schemes hire manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to members of the public with limited mobility to shop and to visit leisure and commercial facilities within towns, cities or shopping centres.

Shopmobility schemes are for anyone, young or old, whether their disability is temporary or permanent.

Shopmobility schemes are available for those with injuries and/or long or short-term disabilities – i.e. anyone who needs help with mobility. 

You should not need to be registered disabled to use Shopmobility schemes.

For details of Shopmobility schemes in your local area in addition to commercial outlets which offer services similar to Shopmobility schemes please click here.

Social car schemes

Social car schemes are not-for-profit schemes which operate by using groups of drivers who volunteer to provide transport, normally using their own cars, to other residents who have difficulty accessing public or other private transport.  Social car schemes are run by local people for the benefit of local people. Some existing Social car schemes locally offer more than just transport services – for instance some schemes run lunch clubs or other community-based activities alongside the provision of transport.

Most social car schemes make a small charge to cover the costs of the mileage expenses incurred by the volunteer using their car to transport passengers.

For details of Social car schemes in your local area please click here.

 

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