Coalfield Community Transport
Coalfield Community Transport is a registered charity and non-profit-distributing company wholly owned by the Coalfield Communities Federation. The origins of the initiative lie in the People's Jury held in June 2000 in the Coalfield Area of East Ayrshire to identify ways in which people within the community could be encouraged to play a more active role. The report highlighted infrequent and inaccessible transport as a major barrier to taking part in a wide range of activities including the economic, social and cultural regeneration of the area.
CCT was launched in May 2002 to provide community and voluntary groups in the Coalfield Area with affordable and accessible transport so they can take part in community activities. In addition, it works to improve access to services and jobs.
CCT operates a fleet of five minibuses and runs services such as The Dayhopper Club, launched in June 2003 which provides a shopping and excursions service to individuals in receipt of benefit, older or unemployed people, lone parents, and people with a disability or who are geographically disadvantaged. Dayhopper members are the most vulnerable and excluded in our society. The club has 700 members ranging from 2 – 94 years in age and a waiting list of 156 individuals. Over 75% of the members are over 70 years and almost 60% have no access to personal transport.
Wheels2Work is a scooter loan service introduced in April 2004, to assist young people aged 16 -25 years to gain access to work or training.
Currently the initiative has 159 groups in membership 179 volunteer drivers, taken 2500 group transport bookings, carried in excess of 30,000 passengers. CCT is committed to the national driving standard MiDAS. Volunteer drivers are trained to the UK certificated standard.
The organisation is linked nationally to the Community Transport Association with direct membership of their Board of Trustees. Sheila White CCT's Director is to give a training session on Business Planning, a briefing session on IIP and Chair the Women's Transport Forum at this year's national conference in Manchester on 9-11 November. CTAScotland has a very popular Scottish electronic discussion group, which provides a forum for community transport operators and funders to explore issues of common interest. The home page for the discussion group is at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/CTASCOT.
The Way Forward
CCT is working to expand and enhance the services it offers to residents of the East Ayrshire Coalfield Area. To ensure the sustainability of the initiative a five-year business plan has been developed for a social enterprise to establish a centre of excellence in South West Scotland for driver training, providing commercial and subsidised services. Sheila White says "we're really looking forward to the future and already seeing the benefits of all the hard work put in by the Directors and volunteers over the last two years".
For further information, contact:
Coalfield Community Transport
16a Thistle Business Park
Ayr Road, Cumnock
Tel: 01290 429088
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