Community transport partnership hits the road

Berwickshire Wheels are part of the new Borders community transport service
Berwickshire Wheels are part of the new Borders community transport service

A one-stop shop community transport service is now on the road in the Borders - available by calling 0300 456 1985.

This single telephone number will get you through to voluntary transport providers such as Red Cross, Berwickshire Association of Voluntary Services, The Bridge, RVS and others who have formed a partnership called Borders Community Transport Services.

It is a one stop shop for efficient, affordable transport across the region for people of all ages who are unable to use public transport or who don’t have a car. It should improve people’s independence and enable them to keep appointments safely and efficiently while at the same time avoid duplication of journeys by the different voluntary organisations.

The community transport service can help with hospital, dentist, health centre, clinic and optician appointments, getting to social activites and visiting friends and relatives.

Lindsay Wilson from Red Cross said: “In the past, users have had to call many different transport providers to find one that could meet their needs but now, because the hub will have a picture off all community transport availability in the Borders, getting the right transport at the right place and time is only one phone call away.

“Because the hub will have an overview of all community transport and user requirements, it will even be possible for users to share transport if there’s more than one person making the same journey, which will make the travel more efficient.

“The service has access to fully equipped wheelchair accessible vehicles driven by volunteer drivers as well as volunteer drivers using their own cars to take users to medical and dental appointments, social activities or to visit friends and family.

“This is a door to door service and the driver will even wait for up to two hours while appointments are in progress so that they can offer friendship and support, and take users home again afterwards.”

Funding for the three year pilot project has come from ‘Smarter Choice’ and ‘The Integrated Care Fund’.

To book community transport call the freephone number - 0300 456 1985 - Monday to Friday. There is a cost per mile and a minimum charge will apply.