Aims of the Gloucestershire Minibus Scheme
The project’s specific aims are:
- To make minibuses available to a range of organisations within the county (schools, colleges, sports groups and local communities and voluntary organisations), which would otherwise not have access to transport.
- To make better use of the existing minibuses within the county, by making them available to a wider range of users.
- To reduce running costs for the county’s minibus-owning organisations, by increasing their income.
- To ensure that minibus-drivers throughout the county are trained and tested to the nationally recognised MiDAS standard (Minibus Driver Accreditation Scheme).
- To provide better access to services and reduce social isolation in rural areas.
Background to the Gloucestershire Minibus Scheme
Gloucestershire is predominantly a rural county, with more than 300 settlements and 261 Town and Parish Councils. The overall purpose of the GMS is to reduce the problems of isolation and social exclusion, faced by many of our rural communities.
The principle is simple: many local community groups and organisations have saved up and purchased their own minibuses – the culmination of much fund-raising and hard work! Many of these vehicles are under-utilised, being used only once or twice a week. Of course, there are many other community groups who could never afford to buy a minibus, and have no access to one – but they could make good use of one…
The Gloucestershire Minibus Scheme is part of Transport 21, a not-for-profit organisation based in Stroud, with satellite offices in Newent, Cirencester, and Gloucester. Transport 21 works to promote sustainable transport throughout Gloucestershire. GMS receives funding from Gloucestershire County Council, District Councils, Gloucestershire Rural Renaissance and the Rural Transport Partnership.