With no public transport services available, residents of Appin who do not have their own transport can struggle to get around. Our Community Transport Scheme serves our older residents who choose to live an independent life in their own home but are no longer able or wish to drive themselves.
Typically journeys cover shopping trips, social events and other local travel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition, from Monday to Friday the scheme attempts to meet the need for any essential medical appointments as required by members. To use the scheme, passengers must be pre-registered as a member. A modest fare is chargeable for each journey, as per the table on this website.
A few things to remember:
- We offer a door to door return service at a fraction of the cost of a taxi.
- Our drivers are all volunteers who give their time generously to the community.
- The fares are more cost effective than owning and running your own car.
- Using the community car enables you to travel when YOU need to.
- The community car fills the gap left by the lack of public transport.
- The car helps everyone in our well spread local community stay connected with each other.
- When attending hospital in Glasgow or Inverness travelling expenses can be reclaimed.
The scheme is operated by a pool of volunteer drivers, who generously give their time and assistance, as well as a part-time coordinator. The service is normally provided in our comfortable Volkswagen Sharan, which can also carry a passenger in their own wheelchair if necessary.
How the scheme works
To use the Appin Community Transport service you need to:
- Register as a member of the scheme
- Request a booking
- Pay a standard fare for each journey
The service is designed and licenced to meet the needs of our older residents in Appin including those with mobility problems. We are only able to accept as members any residents who meet the scheme criteria.
How to register
To register for the scheme simply contact our co-ordinator here>
As part of the registration process, our co-ordinator will arrange to meet with you and discuss your needs and requirements.
How to book
Once you are registered you can simply phone the transport co-ordinator to request a booking. We ask that you give as much notice as possible when making a booking, and at least 24 hours.
A standard fare is charged for each passenger journey - for local journeys in North Lorn and for hospital appointments. Journey Fares>
All of our drivers are volunteers and are members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Adult Scheme. Read our safeguarding policy here.
Frequently asked questions for passengers
See the answers to frequently asked questions below, or click to download all questions and answers for passengers (PDF).
The community transport vehicle has a Section 19 licence. This enables us to provide transport services for our members and charge a fare. We also gain access to Blue Badge parking and to an operational grant. Because we hold this licence we are not allowed to carry members of the general public, only our registered members. Qualifications for membership of our scheme are defined by age, lack of mobility or other disability that affects the ability to travel independently.
Contact our transport co-ordinator to arrange a time for her to visit you and go through the registration process. In addition to getting your contact details she will ask about any health issues that may affect your ability to travel and discuss the journeys and destinations that you may like to book.
The transport scheme is intended to help you access the services you need in order to live a fit and healthy life at home. This may include medical appointments, shopping, and visits to the bank, post office, hairdresser etc. In addition we run services linked to local social events such as the weekly soup lunch and monthly afternoon social. We do not provide evening transport for social events.
Yes, you can book a journey up to four weeks ahead. This is especially useful for regular trips as it enables us to plan journeys more efficiently. We advise that you should put the booking in your calendar as a reminder to yourself.
We ask that you pay the driver when you enter the car and to provide the exact fare if possible. See the Fares tab here for the list of fares.
Our volunteer drivers are recruited and offer their services on the basis that they will be responsible for driving their passengers from one place to another. They will provide a supporting arm to help you get to and from the vehicle, but are not carers and should not be expected to support you round the shops for example. If you are not sufficiently stable and strong to walk independently then you should arrange to be accompanied on the trip.
Yes. The car has a good size space for carrying shopping, a wheelchair and/or walking aids. You should ensure that you tell the co-ordinator about any such requirements when you book your trip.
A pick-up time will be arranged when you book and we will endeavour to collect you as close to this time as possible. If you are attending an appointment please tell us this when you book so we can allow plenty of time. Please bear in mind that there may be other passengers booked on your trip or other journeys booked for the day you would like to travel, and this may affect the time of your journey.
You will normally be picked up from your house, assuming that there is a suitable place close by where the driver can park the vehicle safely. In the course of your trip you will be picked up from the place/s you specified when booking.
You will be dropped off as close as possible to your destination. The vehicle is registered with the Blue Badge scheme and has dispensation from normal parking restrictions.
The co-ordinator will need to confirm the reason for travel so that medical/health appointments get priority. It is also helpful for us to record purpose of travel as evidence to support requests for funding that we make from time to time.
Guide dogs are permitted to travel with their owner. Any other journey that involves travel with a pet must be discussed and agreed with the co-ordinator and will be subject to conditions.
All of our volunteer drivers have a Driver Identity Badge and will display this for you when they arrive to pick you up.
We understand that occasionally you may not feel well enough to travel on the day of your booking. Please let us know as early in the day as possible so that we can cancel the driver’s journey to collect you. We appreciate as much notice as possible for any cancellation.
We do out utmost to honour our bookings. However, it may happen that another member has a last minute or urgent medical appointment and we do give these priority. In the unlikely event that this should occur we will give you as much notice as possible and discuss alternative arrangements with you.
Fares from 1st February 2024 until further notice are shown below, or download the list of fares from this link.
Fares: North Lorn
| From | To | Fare |
| Appin | Appin | £5.00|
| Duror | Appin | £15.00|
| Appin | Oban | £15.00|
| Duror | Oban | £25.00|
| Appin | Duror/Barcaldine | £10.00|
| Duror | Barcaldine | £20.00|
| Appin/Duror | Ballachulish | £15.00|
| Appin/Duror | Fort William | £20.00|
Fares: Hospital visits
| From | To | Fare |
| Appin/Duror | Vale of Leven, Alexandria | £55.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley | £60.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow | £65.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow | £65.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Royal Jubilee Hospital, Glasgow | £60.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Gartnavel / Beatson / Nuffield / Ross Hall, Glasgow | £60.00 |
| Appin/Duror | Raigmore Hospital, Inverness | £70.00 |
Our group of volunteer drivers is vital to operation of Appin Community Transport scheme and their individual contributions are greatly valued.
We are always keen to hear from anyone who thinks they may like to become a volunteer driver. For more information, please contact our community transport co-ordinator.
Community Transport Vehicle
The community transport vehicle is a VW Sharan, first registered in summer 2018. The car is an automatic and has a ramp plus internal fixings to accommodate a passenger with a wheelchair. A maximum of four passengers can be carried, with plenty of space also for shopping and any wheelchair or walking aids.
We recognise the significant commitment that each of our drivers is making and will ask at the outset how much time each month you are willing to give to the scheme. This helps us to draw up a basic journey schedule on a rolling eight week basis.
All of our drivers are required to become members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Adult Scheme: see our safeguarding policy.
Frequently asked questions for drivers
See the answers to frequently asked questions below, or click to download all questions and answers for drivers (PDF).
To become a volunteer driver you need to be an experienced driver able to make a commitment for at least half a day each month. For insurance purposes you should be aged between 30 and 70 years, although you may be added to the policy as a named driver if you are a few years older or younger than the stated age limit. In these circumstances you will be required to provide some information on your driving history but this is not onerous and we would encourage you to discuss it with us. It is important that you enjoy driving and that you have a sense of responsibility about the role and the duty of care to passengers.
Contact our transport co-ordinator to arrange a time to meet and go through the registration process. She will discuss the role in more detail, check your driving licence and ask for some further details for insurance purposes. Assuming that all is in order she will then arrange for you to obtain PVG registration. Once the PVG confirmation is received, the co-ordinator will arrange an induction session to familiarise you with the vehicle and its equipment. You will also receive a Driver Identification Badge.
We value greatly the contributions made by our volunteer drivers and endeavor to keep driving hours to the level you wish each month. Occasionally we may get a late or additional request that is not scheduled and in these circumstances we will e-mail round to see whether anyone is free and willing to do the extra run.
Passenger journeys can be local or further afield. Local runs are generally between passenger homes and one of the village halls, local shop / post office, or doctor’s surgery. Further afield, there are weekly journeys to Oban, Ballachulish or Fort William. Less often, there may be requests for transport to Glasgow or Inverness for medical appointments. If you have a strong preference for certain kinds of journey you should discuss this with the co-ordinator and she will take this into account when planning the driving schedule.
Unless you have a particular destination preference you will be allocated journeys by the co-ordinator on an eight week rolling schedule, having regard for your availability. For this reason, the co-ordinator will ask you for your availability a couple of months in advance.
Passengers will be elderly and have restricted mobility; these are explicit criteria for being accepted as a passenger member of the community transport scheme. However, passengers are told very clearly that the drivers are exactly that – they are not carers and should not be asked to do more than provide a supporting arm to and from the house and destination. If a passenger is unable to walk without additional help then they should arrange to be accompanied on their trip by a carer.
You will receive an induction session with the co-ordinator to explain how the scheme operates and familiarise yourself with the car and its equipment. You will also receive more detailed training from one of our trained drivers in use of the accessibility equipment. You will also receive certificated first aid training, usually in a group with other new drivers. Refresher training will be provided periodically as required.
We understand that an emergency may arise which means that you are unable to drive on the scheduled day. If this, or illness, should occur then you should contact the co-ordinator as soon as possible to let her know. Advance notice is appreciated, if possible, to allow the co-ordinator to find an alternative driver to do the run.
Occasionally an urgent or last minute medical appointment may generate a transport request when the car is already booked for a different run. On these occasions the co-ordinator will identify the options and, if appropriate, may ask for a volunteer to drive the passenger using their own (the volunteer’s) car. In these circumstances the passenger is asked to make a donation of at least equivalent value to the normal fare. The volunteer driver is paid a mileage allowance for doing the run.
No. The scheme is based on use of the community transport vehicle and private cars are only used in exceptional circumstances.
You will agree with the co-ordinator where/when to collect the community transport vehicle and where you can leave your own car until you return.
We try to minimise the amount of paperwork that our drivers have to deal with. During your initial registration process you may be asked to complete a PVG application form. The form will be provided by the co-ordinator and you will return it to her when completed. Once registered each driver is required to record the passengers, fares taken and mileage travelled when they do a journey. The journey sheet is then handed to the co-ordinator when you return the car.
Support both from the community of Appin and from elsewhere is vital to sustaining our community transport service so that it continues to meet the needs of our elderly residents into the future.
How you can support the Transport Scheme
- Volunteer as a driver - if you live locally, enjoy driving and can spare a few hours each month to help others within the community.
- Make a donation – to keep our fares at a level that is affordable for all our service users we need to receive funding donations to help cover our operating costs. If you would like to support our work with a donation please make a donation here.
- Offer sponsorship – if your organisation would like to offer financial sponsorship for our community transport service please contact us by phone, email or by message.
- Offer a grant – our community transport service is supported each year by organisations providing either capital or revenue (or both!) grants - see the list of our current supporters. If your organisation would like to offer a grant please contact us by phone, email or by message.
Our current supporters
We are extremely grateful to the following organisations, without whose support the service could not have been started, would not operate to the desired quality standard, and could not be sustained.
• Essentia Foundation
• Argyllshire Gathering Christmas Ball