Coalfield Community Transport was launched in May 2002 to provide affordable and accessible transport solutions for community and voluntary groups and individuals living in the Coalfield Area of East Ayrshire.
The origins of the initiative lie in the People's Jury which was held in June 2000 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 participation in a wide range of areas.
The project now has ten minibuses, seven of which are fully accessible by anyone who uses a wheelchair. All services are available 363 days each year.
Membership of the Group Transport service is open to all community and voluntary groups, with an appropriate constitution, within East Ayrshire. There are currently 145 groups in membership. The project has a pool of 197 volunteer drivers, all trained to the nationally recognised Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS). Over 30 volunteers drive regularly for a number of groups.
The Dayhopper Club was launched in June 2003 and 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 at a disadvantage. The club has over 900 members ranging from 2-95 years in age. Over 75% of the members are over 70 years and almost 60% have no access to personal transport.
Wheels2Work is a scooter loan service which was introduced in July 2004 to assist young people aged 16-25 years to gain access to work or training. The project has 18 scooters and over 80 young people have been referred for the scheme.
Coalfield Community Transport contributes towards the implementation of some of the key themes of the East Ayrshire Community Plan. These include:
- Improving Opportunities: CCT provides geographically excluded residents with the opportunity to take up work or training
- Improving Health: CCT provides a forum for social interaction, especially beneficial for the elderly of the area and provides choice in shopping for fresh food