As your relative gets older, they may find it more difficult to drive and to use public transport, and this may put them off getting out and about. These are not the only options for getting them from A to B in Essex, though! There are a fantastic number of community transport schemes in operation across the county, dedicated to helping elderly people get to where they need to go.
Every region of Essex has its own community transport schemes, providing door-to-door dial-a-ride transport for very affordable rates. For most of these schemes your relative will need to become a member, and then all they will have to do is inform the provider of the journey they need a few days in advance.
Some of these providers also offer car-share schemes, community buses, and minibuses that can be hired for daytrips and clubs. Maybe your relative would want to speak to their friends about organising a day trip to these Accessible Days Out in Essex.
Although some community transport schemes can take your relatives to their medical appointments, it shouldn’t be confused with patient transport services – patient transport services provide specialist transportation for elderly people who require expert support in getting to and from healthcare appointments, and is commissioned by the NHS. If this is what your relative needs then you should look at our guide to Patient Transport Schemes in Essex.
- Essex-Wide Community Transport Schemes
- Community Transport Schemes in North-East Essex
- Community Transport Schemes in Mid-Essex
- Community Transport Schemes in West Essex
- Community Transport Schemes in South Essex
Essex-Wide Community Transport Schemes
Essex Car Share Scheme
Provided in partnership between Essex County Council and Liftshare, the Essex Car Share Scheme can help older people to get around with the help of people already making journeys around Essex. Your relative and the person driving can split the cost of the journey. The process is simple:
- Your relative enters online the journey that they need to make, and they will use their matching database to show people going that way.
- Once your relative has found someone suitable, they can get in touch and arrange details of how and when they can be picked up.
- Ready to go! Once both parties have agreed to the details, all that’s left to do is get in and enjoy the ride.
There are local community groups on the Essex Liftshare website. This means your relative is likely to become acquainted with the people they regularly share with, which they may find comforting.
Community Transport Schemes in North-East Essex
Community 360 Transport Services (Colchester and Maldon)
Community 360 provide a community transport scheme in Colchester and Maldon. They provide 2 door-to-door Dial-a-Ride services for older people, called Social Car and ‘Book-a-Ride’. The services are essentially the same other than that ‘Book-a-Ride’ cars are all fully wheelchair accessible.
Their team of dedicated volunteers can help your relative get to both medical and social appointments, including to the hospital, shopping centres, and visits to therapy, friends and relatives.
Membership costs £15.00 per year, and after this your relative only needs to pay for the volunteer drivers’ mileage expense, of 50p a mile.
They also offer shopmobility, group hire and excursion transport options, which you can read more about on their website.
Telephone: 01206 505250
Tendring Community Transport
Tendring Community Transport run a range of services for people living in Tendring.
Their Dial-a-Ride service provides accessible, door-to-door transport service for all people based on Tendring. It is free to all older people with a valid bus pass, or there is a £3.50 single fare. The service operates 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 2pm on Saturdays. Your relative can call their team on 01206 505250 to organise a journey.
Tendring Community Transport also runs the Colchester Hospitals Hopper Bus. This Hopper bus route covers Holland on sea, Clacton, Great Clacton, Little Clacton, St Osyth Gt. Bentley Village Hall – then on to Colchester. The service is free to people who hold a concessionary bus pass. To use the service your relative can call them on 01255 436962.
They also run a number of Social Car Share schemes that are part-funded by Essex County Council. These help to take people to lunch clubs, hospitals and GP appointments. You can look on the Car Share page of the Tendring Community Transport website to find out more about the Car Share schemes that may be helpful to your relative.
Telephone: 01206 505250
Community Transport Schemes in Mid-Essex
Braintree Community Transport
Braintree Council operate a communtiy transport scheme which includes car-sharing, dial-a-ride and minibus hire. Use of these schemes requires becoming a member, which has a £20 cost.
The Braintree Dial-a-Ride service and Social Car Scheme are essentially the same, except that the Dial-a-Ride scheme vehicles are guaranteed to be wheelchair-accessible. These schemes can help your relative get to health appointments, go shopping, attend lunch and day clubs, and more.
The service operates 7 days per week from 8:30am until 5:30pm, and journeys must be requested at the latest the day before travel is required. Each journey costs £3.50 for up to 5 miles or 70p per mile if your relative’s journey is over 5 miles.
Telephone: 01376 557883
Chelmsford Community Transport
Chelmsford Community Transport offer a Dial-a-Ride service that can provide door-to-door transport by car or minibus for those that can’t use public transport because of age, physical or mental disability, or rural exclusion. They have a team of volunteers who drive their own cars, plus seven mini-buses that re all fitted with wheelchair lifts for those that need them.
They can take you anywhere you need to go within Chelmsford and surrounding parishes for any reason Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Your relative can call the Chelmsford Community Transport team on 01245 477789 Monday – Friday 9:00am – 2:30pm to make a booking.
There is an annual administration cost of £12 per year for individuals and £15 per year for couples or 2 people that share an address.
Telephone: 01245 477789
Community Transport Schemes in West Essex
Epping Forest and Harlow Community Transport
Epping Forest Community Transport provide transport services to people in the Epping Forest and Harlow areas who can’t use, or don’t feel comfortable using public transport.
They offer a door-to-do Dial-a-Ride service for individuals needing to make journeys. Journeys need to be beooked at least three clear working days prior to the travel date. Their Booking line is open 9.30-12.30 Monday to Friday on 01992 579556. To use the individual booking service there is an annual membership fee of £15.00.
Epping Forest Community Transport also provide dedicated Shopper Buses. These are routes with popular shopping destinations along them. You can look at the Shopper Bus Timetable to find a route that suits your relative.
They also offer transport services for small groups, community groups and day excursions. You can find out more by calling them or looking on their website.
Uttlesford Community Transport
Uttlesford Community Transport support older residents, disabled residents and rurally isolated residents in Uttlesford who find it difficult to access normal public transport.
They offer a Dial-a-Ride service called Book-a-Ride, for individual journeys. They can take your relative to medical appointments, shopping, to visit friends and most other places they need to go. All of their minibuses are wheelchair accessible.
You need to be a member to use Uttlesford Community Transport services. To become a member your relative can fill in this Application Form and pay a membership fee of £10.
Telephone numbers: 01371 875787 or 01799 519008
Community Transport Schemes in South Essex
Basildon Community Transport Services
Basildon Community Transport Services provides a Dial-a-Ride travel alternative for people that cannot use public transport due to illness, age or rural isolation. Their Minibuses and Volunteer Cars may be used for trips to health appointments, shopping, day centres and seeing friends.
Individual memberships cost £12 per year, and then £3.50 for any distance up to 3 miles. For journeys over 3 miles they charge 50p per mile afterwards.
They also operate a community bus route bus route from Afflets Court & Moatfield to Basildon Bus Station, and group transport.
Telephone: 01268 465 858
Brentwood Community Transport Schemes
Older residents in Brentwood can benefit from Brentwood Community Transport Services.
They operate a door-to-door Social Car Scheme, operated by volunteer drivers and a fleet of wheelchair-accessible minibuses, which can be used for trips to the shops, doctors, dentist, seeing friends friends, attending lunch clubs and more. The scheme is run by using volunteer drivers who drive their own vehicles.
They also provide the ‘Little Blue Bus 808 service’ which connects older people to Brentwood Community Hospital and services in the town centre. It runs on a daily timetable, can be accessed by all, and is free for those with a valid concessionary bus passes accepted.
Telephone: 01277 228080
Castle Point Community Transport
The Castle point Social Car Scheme can help your elderly relatives get to wherever they need to go. They operate both wheelchair-accessible cars and minibuses. It is open to all people aged over 60 within the Castle Point Area (Hadleigh, Thundersley, Benfleet and Canvey Island).
Your relative will need to be a member to use to he volunteer cars and the minibus. There is an Annual Membership Fee of £15.00.
Telephone: 01268 638419
Wyvern Community Transport (Castle Point and Rochford)
Residents of the Rochford District and Castle Point areas who are in need of transport due to their age or disability can use the services of Wyvern Community Transport. They operate a door-to-door Dial-a-Ride transport service for the residents of Rochford District and Castle Point Borough. They have a fleet of 6 wheelchair-accessible minibuses for residents who need them.
Wyvern Community Transport also have a community (social) car scheme, where volunteer drivers use their own cars to transport older residents to medical appointments only.
Your relative will need to become a mmeber to access the services, but membership is completely free.They then have to pay £4.50 per journey for travel of up to 3 miles, and then a small sum per mile thereafter. Carers accompanying them on a journey pay a flat fare of £2.00.
Telephone: 01268 753513 or 01268 754936
Southend Borough Council provide a dedicated Dial-a-Ride service for people who absolutely cannot use other forms of public transport. The service can be used to go to any destination with the Borough of Southend (excluding day centres and hospital appointments).
Your relative must be a member, but can only be one if they meet one of the following conditions:
- Be in receipt of Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
- Be registered blind
- Be in receipt of Higher Rate Attendance Allowance (for women aged over 60 and men aged over 65)
- Be in receipt of Mobility Supplement of War Pension
There is an annual membership cost of £12.30.
Telephone: 01702 215871
Age Concern Southend Community Transport
Age Concern Southend provides a Dial-a-Ride community transport service that provides journeys to enable older people in Southend to get to medical appointments, social appointments, groups and clubs.
Their community transport drivers are volunteers, and the only cost is a 47p per mile fee to cover costs such as petrol and insurance.
Telephone: 01702 345373
Trans-Vol is a Community Transport Scheme for disabled residents and over-80s in the Thurrock area. Their Volunteer Car Scheme is a Dial-a-Ride service through which volunteer drivers use their own cars to transport residents with no other means of travelling. They also have a fleet of Wheelchair Accessible Minibuses for residents in wheelchairs, but need a week’s notice for journeys.
Your relative would need to be a member in order to use Trans-Vol services, which they can register for here using the Membership Form. There is a yearly £10 fee for membership.
Telephone: 01375 391444