Ilkley Community Transport’s distinctive blue buses, which were parked up during lockdown, are back on the road again and have issued an appeal for volunteers to help with the popular service for local residents.
The fleet of three buses – two sixteen-seaters and one that can carry eleven passengers – will once again be transporting local groups to their chosen destinations. The journeys typically undertaken include trips to the theatre, visits to museums and stately homes, excursions to the Dales and other outings ranging from an hour to a full day trip. Given some notice the buses can also be easily adapted to accommodate wheelchair passengers.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be back in business after this period of inactivity and are very much looking forward to providing transport help once again for people in the area” said John Barker, Chair of Ilkley Community Transport.
“To help us ensure a good service we are currently looking for new volunteers to join our friendly team, and have vacancies for minibus drivers, minibus escorts, volunteer car drivers and also people to provide administration assistance in our office. We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in working with us in what can be a really worthwhile and rewarding area. And anyone who volunteers can devote as little or as much time as they wish to the job.
“Regarding qualifications, a minibus driver will be required to have Group D1 on his or her licence, and will be trained by us to the MiDAS (Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme) standard.”
In addition to the bus service, Ilkley Community Transport also operates a car lift scheme, operated by volunteer drivers using their own vehicles.
The service is primarily for medical appointments and covers the LS29 post code area – i.e Ilkley, Addingham, Burley in Wharfedale, Burley Woodhead and Menston. There is no charge for this particular service but any donations are gratefully received to support the charity and will help to ensure continuation of the service. Car drivers will be able to claim agreed fuel expenses and their insurance should permit them to carry passengers in a voluntary capacity without affecting their annual premium.
“Apart from requiring drivers we also need some help in our office, which we share with Community Action Bradford and District ” added John.
“Our transport co-ordinator oversees the group’s activities, but assistance would be appreciated with everyday tasks such as handling telephone enquiries, taking bookings and car lift requests, and liaising with drivers and escorts. Again, it’s simply as much time as you feel you can give.”
To book a bus and check hire rates, or find out more about volunteering, please contact the office on 01943 603348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org