Community Transport & Link Schemes
Community First provides an advisory and support service to 42 Link Schemes and 21 Community Minibus Groups across Wiltshire and Swindon as well as managing a variety of transport services to keep communities connected.
Community First provides an advisory and support service to 42 Link Schemes and 21 Community Minibus Groups across Wiltshire and Swindon
Volunteers involved in supporting the service
Link Schemes in Wiltshire and Swindon
Community Minibus Groups in Wiltshire and Swindon
Link schemes are volunteer led services which aim to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged, elderly or disabled people by helping them access important local services including medical appointments or by providing practical help with small tasks around the home or garden. As the transport service is provided by volunteers using their own cars, passengers are invited to give a donation to cover the cost of running the service. Local Link Schemes are run by a group of volunteers managed by a Link Co-ordinator who helps to connect passengers with volunteers.
Image credit: Phil Chapman
Community Minibus Groups in Wiltshire and Swindon run transport services for the benefit of the local community on a not-for-profit basis. The majority of vehicles are wheelchair accessible and offer regular day trips or routes at affordable rates. Many Community Minibus Groups are registered charities and mostly volunteer-led, but some use a mixture of paid and volunteer drivers. Details of routes, trips and prices charged by each minibus group can be obtained by contacting your local minibus group.
Community First offers MiDAS Minibus Driver Training, a nationally recognised standard for drivers of minibuses that offers training for members of staff and volunteers to drive minbuses to ensure they transport adults and children safely.
Local Public & Health Transport Information
Public Transport Information
For more information about getting around in Wiltshire on public transport, you can also visit Connecting Wiltshire which has local bus timetables, information about train services and other forms of transport, as well as news and information about transport in Wiltshire including travel alerts.
Planning your Journey
Support for Disabled People using Public Transport
WITS offers initial travel support to individuals who would like to travel independently on public transport for work, to meet friends, for college or training. After an initial meeting WITS designs an individual programme of support depending and provides a travel supporter to accompany the person on their journey until they become confident.
WITS can also support people to develop skills like planning a journey, road safety, telling the time, using money or a bus pass and help to build confidence. The only cost to the individual is any bus or train fares although where possible WITS will assist people to apply for disabled person passes.
Information for people over 60 and disabled people
Health Transport Information
Wiltshire and Swindon based patients who have a non-emergency medical need and require help with transport to reach their hospital appointment can apply to the Non Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS). The service is provided by E-zec Medical Services Ltd on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
All patients who wish to be considered for the non-emergency patient transport service are required to be assessed by the Patient Transport Advice Centre against national eligibility criteria.
NEPTS is available if:
- Your medical condition means you cannot use other forms of transport without it being detrimental to your health.
- Your mobility means that you would be unable to access healthcare by any other means.
- You need the skills or support of patient transport staff before/during/after the journey.
The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) is for patients who:
- Need to travel to and from an appointment at a hospital or clinic
- Are discharged from hospital, or
- Need to transfer between centres, and
- Because of their medical condition, cannot make their own way.
The opening hours for the Patient Transport Advice Centre (PTAC) is 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday. The number you call will depend on the area your GP is located.
Swindon: 01278 727401
Wiltshire: 01278 727410
If you need to check on the whereabouts of your transport on the day, please call E-zec on 0300 777 5577
Your eligibility for non emergency transport will be based on medical need. When you call the number given above you will be asked several questions to determine whether you qualify for non emergency patient transport. If you need to book your own travel appointment, you should try to call the number above at least the day before your appointment.
If you have a low income and do not have a medical need for transport, you may be able to reclaim your travel costs through a national NHS scheme called the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. You can make a claim at the hospital at your appointment (provided you have the necessary paperwork) or you can make a postal claim up to three months after your appointment has taken place. This service is not related in any way to the NEPTS service.
If you do not qualify for non emergency patient transport, please contact your local Community Transport scheme who may be able to arrange transport for you.