Community transport | Oxfordshire County Council

Community transport

Find out about community transport services near you, how to volunteer and how to apply for funding.

People getting onto minibus

Community transport offers safe, accessible, cost-effective, flexible transport run by the community for the community: showing what can be done when people take responsibility for solving their own problems.

It meets the needs of people who cannot easily access cars, taxis or buses, and provides a lifeline in both rural and urban areas. It harnesses the experience and energy of volunteers who give freely of their time to help others.

Community transport can take disabled people to work, children to school, sick people to healthcare and older people to the shops. It runs local bus routes and provides transport for a wide range of clubs, groups, and others such as GP surgeries and care homes.

How to find out about services near you

Many groups across Oxfordshire provide transport services, from small volunteer car schemes to larger minibus schemes offering timetabled services. They are run largely by volunteers and do not make a profit, but may make a charge to cover expenses.

If you find it difficult to get around, there may be a community transport service to help you. You can find out about services in three ways:

  • Call our Oxfordshire Travel Advice Line (OxTAIL) on 0345 310 1111 for free impartial advice on a range of transport options for older people or those with a high level of support needs.
  • Search the national website CT Online, a community transport search facility, that allows you to seek out your local community-run transport service in any area of England
  • Download the current Oxfordshire Community Transport Directory (pdf format, 462Kb). It brings together information about community transport groups and services in Oxfordshire. It was put together in 2016.

Find information about community transport near me

Enter a postcode or place name:

 

How you can help

Most of us take it for granted that we will be able to get to the places we need to. However, when people can’t drive or access public transport, they can be stranded.

Helping out is rewarding and can be very flexible. Contact your local community transport group directly to see how you could help, for example by:

  • making sure people who need it know about the service
  • helping with fundraising
  • becoming a volunteer driver
  • helping with bookings.

You can also look for opportunities through your local volunteer centre, as some groups will advertise openings in that way.

If you cannot find a local group, but would like to discuss potential local needs, please contact us or Community First Oxfordshire.

Community Transport grants

The county council supports the development of not-for-profit community transport groups and services.

Grants are available for training minibus drivers to MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) standard and PATs (Passenger Assisted Transport) standard. We can arrange training through our Integrated Transport.

Small start-up grants to help groups in the early stages of development are also available. Contact us for more information.

Oxfordshire Local Transport Toolkit

Transport services are a very important part to a thriving community. If you have identified a local transport need in your community this self-help guide could be useful in identifying an appropriate solution

It is hoped that communities can use the self-help toolkit (pdf format, 1Mb) as a guide to tackle local transport problems in a practical and effective way. We have tried to make this toolkit user friendly, but if your community or group need further help then there is some support offered by Community First Oxfordshire.

Videos

To find out more about different kinds of community transport in Oxfordshire, you can watch brief videos produced by Oxford Brookes University Digital Media Productions (2013):

Oxfordshire Community Transport Video – Filling a gap

More information on Vimeo

Read video transcript

Community transport offers safe, accessible, cost-effective, flexible transport run by the community for the community. Community transport can help fill the gaps where it is difficult to access other transport options and provides a lifeline in both rural and urban areas.

It shows what can be done when people take responsibility for solving their own problems. It harnesses the experience and energy of volunteers who give freely of their time to help others.

Community transport can take disabled people to work, children to school, sick people to healthcare and older people to the shops. It runs local bus routes and provides transport for a wide range of clubs and other groups.

Volunteering is easy and there are many ways to make a difference in your area. For example, you could help by:

  • Promoting services to anyone who may find it difficult to access other transport options
  • Become a volunteer driver
  • Helping out with bookings and reservations
  • And spotting where additional community transport services may be needed.

More information and signposts to local advice on community transport, search for “community transport” on Oxfordshire County Council’s website: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk.

To find services visit the national community transport website at www.ctonline.org.uk.

Video produced by Oxford Brookes University Digital Media Productions (2013)

 

Oxfordshire Community Transport Video – Community Minibus

Barton minibus on Vimeo

Read video transcript

Keith: My name is Keith Blunsford; I am Head Teacher of Bayards Hill Primary School, which is situated on Barton Estate in Oxford.  We have access to the community minibus, which is based at the Barton Community Centre.

Lesley: My name is Lesley Williams, and I coordinate activities that involve children from the different schools.

Keith: We use the Barton minibus for all sorts of different trips.

Lesley: It is likely that the schools will want it during the day and people like the football club will need it at weekends or evenings.

Keith: We travel every Tuesday evening after school, down into Oxford, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the minibus.

Sue: My name is Sue Holden; I work for the Barton Community Association.  Our main users for the minibus are the local community groups, including the Barton United Football Club; they also use it to go off for their darts evenings, so it’s another sort of social element.

Keith: Public transport is not always easy.  Taxis won’t arrive on time or minibuses don’t arrive on time, whereas we know with the Barton Minibus it will be there when we need it.

Sue: All groups have to book the minibus out if they want to use it.  Some will have regular bookings, if it’s a one-off they’ll just phone me up and book it.

Keith: It’s easy: it’s an easy system, it’s a simple system, and it means that the children have access to activities that they just wouldn’t have without this minibus.

Sue: Each group is invited to pay an annual fund.  That gives them unlimited use of the minibus throughout the year.

Lesley: It’s just a fantastic facility.

Sue: We like to make it accessible to people right across the board - age isn’t important.

Lesley: Every time I’ve needed it, it’s been available.

Sue: Gender isn’t important.

Keith: Year 5 and 6 girls went recently to Blackbird Leys to play football in the City Championships and of course, they won!

Girls, getting out of minibus: We won! Hooray!!

Keith: The Barton Community Minibus fills a gap for the school.

Sue: It’s something that they wouldn’t be able to do without that minibus.

Keith: It allows us to go to activities that we just wouldn’t be able to go if we were using public transport, or if we were hiring buses and taxis.

Sue: We find it serves a really good purpose.

Lesley: It’s just great having a minibus that’s accessible here and we are able to use it when we like.

Video produced by Oxford Brookes University Digital Media Productions (2013)

 

Oxfordshire Community Transport Video – Volunteer car drivers

Car volunteers on Vimeo

Read video transcript

Jean: I’m Jean Tompkins and I’ve been retired a number of years now. My husband was very ill after we’d been retired for five years – he was ill for nearly two years and I nursed him.

After he died I thought: well, I’m getting up early, I’m doing the housework and then what do I with the rest of the day? And I could hear my husband saying: get on with life, life’s for the living.

Phil: My name’s Phil Minett. I was made redundant about a year and a half ago, and I was looking for things to do during the day, and someone suggested doing stuff for Volunteer Link-Up as a driver.

And I enjoy driving, I enjoy meeting people, and I just immediately got a huge buzz and enjoyment out of it.

Jean: There’s time in your life when you are a taker which was when my husband was ill. And then there’s a time when you become a giver.

Phil: Hopefully when I become older, there will be some organisation like this that will help me. It’s probably the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done. I just think it should spread through the whole of Oxfordshire.

Frances: I’m Frances Simpson and I’m a volunteer driver for Wheatley Care. I started to volunteer because I like driving and I like people.  And it’s always very interesting taking people to their various appointments, getting to know them.

Jean: It’s extremely rewarding. You meet delightful people who’ve had such interesting lives. And I think it’s also good for them to recall their life and their experiences, because it helps them again see the positives that have been in life.

Phil: It was just a joy and I was thinking to myself, well I’m actually getting paid to do this – not much, it’s only enough to keep my car going; I’ve got to keep my car going. Because I really enjoy it and I actually enjoy it more than the job I was doing.

Jean: Of course, we get such great help from Volunteer Link-Up and great support which is always so good.

Phil: Probably about five weeks the whole thing took: you get government clearance, you get a disabled badge*. It’s all very professionally done, very organised.

*Note: This is not a disabled parking badge, but an ‘OCTAbadge’ that allows volunteer car drivers to park at some Oxfordshire hospital when helping people get to appointments there. Oxfordshire Community Transport Accessibility Badge (OCTAbadge) is administered by Oxfordshire Rural Community Council.

Jean: It’s really what volunteering is about, helping people not only physically but psychologically perhaps.

Phil:  I would recommend it to anyone, yes.

Jean: I’d recommend volunteering to literally anybody who has from one hour a week to spare to however many hours, but it’s a very rewarding thing to do.

Video produced by Oxford Brookes University Digital Media Productions (2013)

Last reviewed
18 August 2017
PrintPrint Short linkShort link to this pageGive us feedback on this pageFeedback form, opens in new window.
Access key details Skip to main content Home News Sitemap Search Website help Complaints Terms and conditions Website feedback