As people get older they can find it more difficult to drive or use public transport. Fortunately, there is a range of local initiatives and community transport schemes in Dorset. These schemes are affordable, and can help your elderly relative get to wherever they need to be.
If you are looking for patient transport services, look at Age Space’s dedicated guide to Patient Transport Services in Dorset.
Community Transport options in Dorset
Rural counties often have very poor public transport schemes – it can take four hours, for example, to get from Shaftesbury to Sherborne by public transport. So voluntary car schemes and community transport schemes provide a crucially important service to support older people who may have given up driving, or may never have driven.
With both voluntary and community driven transport schemes it might be asked of the passenger to contribute a small amount of money for fuel or for the driver’s time. Usually these are similar in price to how much a bus journey would have been over the same distance. Voluntary schemes often are even cheaper and they will only ask for a contribution to fuel, usually around 50p per mile. If it is a voluntary car scheme the Dorset County Council will subsidise the rest of the costs. You may get a receipt and have to contact the council for this to happen.
To use these services you must contact the local organiser and give details of the transport required, usually with 24 hours notice (except in emergencies). If the trip is eligible and there are people available to help, your contact will help organise the driver and pick-up times. The driver then makes the trip, noting the total mileage (which cannot be more than 50 miles for a round trip).
For some voluntary car schemes you might need to fulfill a certain set of eligibility requirements. For example you must not be able to take public transport or drive yourself, and your reason for travelling may need to be essential, for example:
- To visit the doctor, dentist, clinic, or chiropodist
- For hospital appointments and to visit relatives and friends in hospital
- To collect prescriptions
- To connect with bus, coach or rail services
- For any other essential trips for which there is no reasonable alternative means of transport
To find a list of available community and voluntary transport schemes near you visit the Dorset Council Website, Bournemouth area Volunteer Community Car Scheme and the Bournemouth Council website for more services in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole (BCP) Council area.
Trial Community Transport Schemes in Dorset
Information on trial community transport schemes currently running in Dorset.
These services will not be listed in the Community Transport Directory until they become an established scheme.
Maiden Newton Ring & Ride
Saturday Service CB3 (Bridport, Beaminster and Crewkerne)
Service CB3 is a Saturday service run by Beaminster Town Council between Bridport and Crewkerne via Beaminster. View the timetable on Traveline