The Government recognises that passenger transport is fundamental to the sustainability and independence of communities, particularly in isolated areas because it provides people with access to public services, employment, education and training. Inadequate transport provision can be a barrier to the prosperity of all those living in such areas. Commercial operators often struggle to run passenger transport services in communities where demand is thin or diffuse.
Community transport (CT) can play an important role in providing services in these circumstances.
The Community Transport Minibus Fund is open to community transport operators who provide a service to their local community which may not be otherwise run by commercial bus operators. The fund is not open to Local Authorities. The fund is open to those who hold a permit under section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 to run not for-profit services of benefit to the local community. Bidders will need to provide a copy of the permit when completing their bid.
We are particularly keen to support rural services and bids from rural areas will be favourably scored. Successful bidders will need to be clear that the vehicle provided is going to be used for voluntary services only and not used to compete for commercial or tendered contracts. The community transport operator must be established and able to demonstrate that they are running a service to benefit the community.
We do not expect complex bids and are asking bidders to submit their bid via an online application form. The online form will be available on the Department’s website at www.gov.uk/dft
A second round of community transport minibus funding is open between 8 September 2016 and 2 December 2016. The second round is managed by the Community Transport Association on behalf of the Department for Transport. Guidance and application forms for the second round of community transport minibus funding are available from the Community Transport Association.
For more information please click here for the website.