Transport can be a ‘bone of contention’…
Whether you have it or not, or need it or not, it’s not always easy to access the right public transport! Therefore transport is key. No matter where we live, reliable and accessible transportation to attend appointments and for socialising is vital. Public transport schemes are a great way of meeting and making new friends. Living in a rural community has its advantages, but isolation is an increasing issue. Its all about making life accessible…easily!
Living in rural areas can be challenging for many reasons. Navigating bus time tables and bus stops can be testing for those with first stage dementia. Pavements in villages may be non existent, navigating uneven or overgrown pathways is not ideal if you have mobility issues.
With transport being under scrutiny and funding cuts across the board, the question is, how can people maintain their independence? With the reduction in bus services and train costs hitting an all-time high. Many parts of rural Dorset, train travel is not an option. Main line stations being few and far between needing transport to access them!
There’re many reasons why someone may no longer wish to drive, it may be medical reasons, choice or because of costs, whatever the reason, public transport is their only way of accessing a quality of ‘life’ and wellbeing. With many villages cut off as bus routes end, what options are there?
Did you know though that across Dorset there are many Public Transport Schemes available for people of all ages and abilities?
- The Bride Valley Dial-a-Bus 01305 228965
Bride Valley Dial-a-Bus is a community door to door bus which operates in the Bride Valley area to Bridport area on Wednesdays. It provides accessible transport for elderly and disabled people living in the Bride Valley area.
The Bride Valley Dial-a-Bus offers a wheelchair accessible bus and trained staff to collect passengers from their front door. Transporting them into Bridport Town centre on Wednesday each week and returning them home. On the first Wednesday of each month the Dial-a-Bus travels to Dorchester.
- Christchurch Dial-a-Bus 01202 989632
The Dial-a-Bus service is open to anyone of any age who finds it difficult to use public transport or is disabled and lives within the BH23 postcode.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) trained staff collect you from your door for shopping trips and excursions on a specially adapted bus. Christchurch Community Partnership Dial-a-Bus offers shopping trips to Sainsburys, excursions throughout Dorset.
- SCATBUS – NORDCAT – WAREHAM HOPPER -01258 472164
North Dorset Community Accessible Transport (NORDCAT) SACTBUS (covers the Sherborne area including surrounding villages) and the Wareham Hopper provides a door-to-door minibus service across the Dorset area into Poole.
- Swanage Hopper Dial-a-Bus 01305 228965
The Swanage Hopper Dial-a-Bus is a community door-to-door service which operates in the Swanage area on Tuesdays between the hours of 11am and 3pm. The service offers return trips to Swanage town centre and Swanage market providing an essential shopping service. The Swanage Hopper Bus also transports people for lunch club outings.
- Vision Wimborne Dial-a-Ride 01202 880699
Vision Wimborne is a charity aiming to improve life for people living in Wimborne Minster and surrounding areas. This is a dial-a-ride service for people with severe mobility problems and offers door to door transport from home to their destination and return.
Mobility support a speciality – Vision Wimborne use specially converted Citroen Berlingos to transport wheelchair passengers in safety and comfort. Each car is also fitted with a swivel front passenger seat therefore assisting passengers who have difficulty stooping and bending.
Make New Friends
- Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride. 01404 46520
Hopping over the border slightly into Devon, (administration is based in Honiton) but serving West Dorset, this service provides people with any special need for transport facilities whatever their age, disability or ability. A door to door service with shopping trips to many areas.
The Passenger Club offers a weekly afternoon trip and a day trip on a Saturday each month. However, for an annual membership fee of £10, members can visit such destinations such as Sidmouth, Sherborne, Weymouth and destinations further afield such Glastonbury, Lynton and Lynmouth, Wells and Swanage.
Besides these popular destinations, they also visit Gardens, Garden Centres, Cider Mills, Cathedrals and newly opened shopping malls being high on their list of favourites, and most importantly, the opportunity to stop and enjoy a nice cup of tea or some tasty lunch.
All these Dial a Bus service provides passengers to travel from home to a destination of their choosing, whether this is a quick trip to the surgery or shops or a longer trip to the train station. Costs vary from donations to set prices.
These services are not just for the elderly – anyone can use them. We all need our independence. Like all things, use them or lose them!