As people get older they can find it more difficult to drive or use public transport. Fortunately, there is a great range of local community transport schemes and initiatives in Kent. These schemes are all very 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 Kent.
- Dial-a-Ride Services in Kent
- Kent Voluntary Car Share Schemes for the Elderly
- Community Bus Transport for the Elderly in Kent
Dial-a-Ride Services in Kent
Kent Karrier is a dial-a-ride service that operates throughout all of Kent for people aged 85+. It is a membership scheme, meaning you must pay £5 a year to use the Kent Karrier, plus a small fare for each journey. Carers can also use the service, and do not need to be members but will need to pay the small fare for each journey.
Each district has its own timetable and set locations that it serves, such as the town centre or large supermarkets. To find out about the timetable and routes for your area, you can download your local Kent Karrier leaflet here from the Kent County Council website.
SMILES – North West Kent
SMILES operate a door-to-door, one-to-one dial-a-ride service for older people (60+), living in the districts of Dartford, Gravesham and Sevenoaks District Council’s Northern parishes (including Swanley). This is a membership scheme that costs £18 for a year, as well as £4 per trip and a small mileage-based fee on top.
Telephone: 01322 294 600
IMAGO Dial2Drive – Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells
Imago Dial2Drive is a community transport scheme operating in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas. The scheme exists for older people to be able to attend medical and social appointments, such as the doctor’s, day centres, hairdressers, or to do their shopping. It is a membership scheme, so there is an annual fee of £20, and it then costs 70p per mile for the driver’s journey from start to finish.
Telephone: 0300 777 1200
Kent Voluntary Car Share Schemes for the Elderly
Kent Coast Volunteering Transport Service, Dover and Thanet, Folkestone and Hythe
The Kent Coast Volunteering Transport Service is available for medical and social journeys, such as appointments, visiting family or doing the shopping. There is a membership fee (which depends on where you are based, so contact them for a quote!), and an additional cost of 45p per mile and plus small admin charge.
Dover and Thanet Telephone: 01304 380513
Folkestone and Hythe Telephone: 01303 253339
Involve Community Transport, Maidstone and Malling
Involve Community Transport helps people living in Maidstone and Malling to reach all of their medical and social appointments, in Kent or beyond. Their volunteer drivers are all DBS-checked. Journeys cost £4 for a standard booking, plus 45p per mile.
Telephone: 03000 810005
Ashford Volunteer Car Scheme
The Ashford Volunteer Car scheme aims to help people in Ashford who find it difficult to use public transport. The scheme can assist the elderly to get to their health appointments and shopping trips or social excursions, where possible.
Telephone: 01233 665535
Community Car Service – Tunbridge Wells
The Community Car Service provides assistance to people in and around the Tunbridge Wells area who need assistance getting somewhere, including to appointments, day centres and shopping trips. All of their drivers have enhanced DBS checks. There is an annual fee of £15, plus 75p per mile.
Telephone: 01892 511 627
Could you help? The Community Car Service is currently searching for friendly volunteers who would be able to help transport passengers to GP / hospital appointments, befriending visits, trips to the shops and more. If you have any free time available don’t hesitate to get in touch through their website.
Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service
The Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service exists to help people in Edenbridge get to their medical appointments, who would otherwise have difficulty travelling.
Telephone: 01732 865353
Herne Bay Volunteer Centre Transport Service
The Herne Bay Volunteer Centre operates a transport service utilising volunteer drivers to transport local people to and from their medical and social appointments. There is a £15 yearly membership fee plus 45p per mile, plus £3 per return trip.
Telephone: 01227 743700
Swale Volunteer Car Scheme
The Swale Community and Voluntary Service runs the Swale Volunteer Transport Scheme for local residents to reach their essential appointments such as doctor, dentist and hospital. There is an initial registration fee of £25 and an annual fee of £20 per person, plus 45p per mile.
Telephone: 01795 426647
Whitstable Volunteer Car Service
The Whistable Volunteer Car Service, run by Red Zebra, helps to enable older people who find public transport challenging to attend essential healthcare appointments, and social meetings where possible. All of their volunteer drivers are DBS checked. There is an annual membership registration fee of £12 per person, or £18 for a couple.
Telephone: 01227 271111
Community Bus Transport for the Elderly in Kent
Meopham Community Bus, Gravesham
Meopham Community Transport runs a community bus service every Tuesday and Friday to Harvel, Sole Street and Gravesend. the Oldre Person’s Bus Pass is accepted on the bus for free travel.