Transport for communities

Transport for communities

Here you will find an introduction to community transport in Northumberland.

Transport for communities

Community transport covers a wide range of transport usually developed to cover a specifically identified need. It’s usually run by volunteers for the local community on a not-for-profit basis.

Who can use community transport?
Community transport users are generally unable to access mainstream public transport, either because they have mobility difficulties or have no public transport service available to them. 

This may be because of isolation in remote rural areas or because of low incomes. These community transport users would otherwise experience social exclusion.

Community transport operations in Northumberland are:
  • generally registered companies limited by guarantee and registered charities for which the transport is the primary constitutional objective
  • established as social enterprises set up with a clearly defined social mission. This allows them to generate their own income by providing services or by applying for grant aid or donations, provided any surpluses generated are reinvested back into their social enterprise.
  • have some input from volunteers, either in management administration or operation 
Northumberland County Council’s role in community transport
The council has a role in the development of community transport, as it widens social inclusion by improving access to work, learning, health and jobs.

Community transport has a key role to play in the mix of transport solutions for Northumberland, working alongside other providers and statutory bodies such as the county council and the North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

In fulfilling transport obligations for education, special needs or public transport services, the council is entitled to contract with the community transport sector, provided it meets with certain operational and contract conditions.
Types of community transport services
Northumberland has client groups with many different community transport needs across the county.
To satisfy the demand of these client groups, community transport services in Northumberland include:
  • group transport provided to registered users. This is referred to as section 19 minibus permit work. It can include dial-a-ride services for registered users but not to the general public.
  • local bus services running to a schedule and open to any fare-paying passenger on a not-for-profit basis. This is referred to as section 22 minibus permit work.
  • voluntary or community car schemes whereby volunteers provide transport in their own cars for eligible users. Journeys are organised by a co-ordinator and the car owner receives a contribution towards the running costs.
Community transport services in Northumberland
There are many community transport operators in Northumberland.

As community transport services are not available to the general public, they are not promoted publicly (unless for a Section 22 service). 

Below is a list of community transport operators in Northumberland, followed by a list of their services:

Adapt North East
Areas covered: countywide
Contact: Liz Prudhoe Bell View
Areas covered: Belford
Contact: Paul Harrison Blyth Valley Disabled Forum
Areas covered: all
Contact: Linda McSparron 
20 Stanley Street
Blyth
NE24 2BU North East Equality and Diversity Ltd (NEED)
Area covered: North East England and borders region
Contact: Andrew Davidson Upper Coquetdale Community Transport
Areas covered: Northumberland - Upper Coquetdale Details of services
  • Alnwick Dial a Ride, Thursdays from 9.30 am at  Rothbury, Longframlington, Swarland, Newton on the Moor to Alnwick, with return from Alnwick at 1.15pm. Concessionary passes accepted.
Please note: you need to be a registered user of Upper Coquetdale Community Transport to use these dial-a-ride services. Contact Nicola Crane for information.

WATBus
Areas covered: countywide
Contact:  Lynn McIntosh Details of services Getabout Access Scheme
Areas covered: Countywide
Contact: Catherine Watson
More information on community transport
More information about community transport in Northumberland is available.

If you have problems using the links here or would like to know more about community transport, please contact Jan Chisholm. Email Jan.Chisholm@northumberland.gov.uk or the operators mentioned in the downloadable leaflets. This page was last updated on 25 June 2015.