Borders Community Transport Services, a project set up by a number of CTA members in Scotland, recently won the 2016 Accessibility Project of the Year award at Transport Times’ Scottish Transport Awards held on 16 June in Glasgow.
Their winning project is a hub for co-coordinating calls from people in the Scottish Borders area who need accessible transport but who can’t use public transport. The organisations involved in delivering it are CTA members Berwickshire Association of Voluntary Service, The Bridge, Red Cross, and RVS with the support of Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders.
This award was a significant achievement given that the project was up against stiff competition from Edinburgh Airport, Network Rail and SESTRAN (the Regional Transport Partnership for south east Scotland), all of whom have made positive strides towards more accessible transport in recent years.
The hub has been running for two years and, to date, it’s been used for organising transport for new passengers. It uses Flexiroute software to co-ordinate transport for older people or those who have a disability by identifying the most appropriate transport option available from the four operators who participate in the project.
Warwick Shaw, NHS Borders Head of Delivery Support said: “We are delighted that the Community Transport Hub has achieved this national recognition after all the imagination and hard work which has gone into realising the idea. This project is a great example of multiple partners working together for the best possible outcomes for a person centred approach.”
This was echoed by Allister Hart from Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service (BAVS), who said: “the Community Transport Service couldn’t operate without the support of our team of volunteer drivers. To date we have used the hub to organise transport for new clients and it has led to new work for us. We are now looking at organising all our transport scheduling through the hub as it has worked so well!”
This is an exceptional project and one of the few where community transport is coordinated for a number of operators using a hub approach. It’s an example of how community transport operators can work together to deliver innovative solutions for the benefit of their communities. The project will now be eligible for the National Transport Awards in London in October.