Ask the expert: Community transport
Every day, local community transport schemes help many residents around Hampshire who would otherwise be unable to travel. Kate Parkinson from Hampshire County Council’s Community Transport Team tells us more about these important services.
What is community transport?
Community Transport covers a wide range of schemes that provides transport for a variety of individuals and groups who cannot easily travel around by bus, train or car. It covers minibus transport for individuals and groups with mobility issues to take them shopping and help them maintain their independence. It also includes volunteers using their own cars to take people to health appointments or people in social care to school or day care.
The Community Transport Team works with the voluntary and community sector, and local schools, providing advice and support on running an effective, reliable, and lawful transport scheme.
Is there a scheme near me?
There are services such as Dial a Ride and Call & Go across most of the county which provide a lifeline to many people. Community groups can even hire minibuses, many with wheelchair access, through local Group Hire schemes. There are also over 100 voluntary car schemes across Hampshire, mostly as part of the Good Neighbours Network, which focus on taking mainly older people to health appointments.
Could I volunteer as a driver?
Yes please. You could drive your own car, for a Good Neighbours scheme, or join the County Council’s team of volunteer drivers who transport people in social care. Minibus drivers are also needed. Volunteers can receive out-of-pocket expenses. The County Council has recently launched a Volunteer Driver Recruitment Campaign to highlight this need for drivers, and the benefits of being involved in your local community.
Could I set up a scheme in my area?
Yes. Not every community has a local scheme but you may know people who would benefit from one. Hampshire County Council has developed a Transport Self-Help Kit that shows you step-by-step how to identify whether there is a local need, and then determine what type of scheme would be best and how to set it up.
Where can I find out more information?