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October 5, 2011

Transport supports delivery of all national outcomes

Scotland’s community transport providers have been gathering in Stirling over the past two days for their annual conference.  Delegates are hoping that new Transport Minister, Keith Brown will acknowledge the integral contribution of community transport to many of the national outcomes.  With publicly subsidised private contractors pulling out of many less profitable routes, the potential for community run providers is huge. But they need support

Community Transport Association have been carrying out a survey to establish a clearer picture of the scale of the sector in Scotland and of what the key issues are for community transport providers on the ground.

The headline figures set out below demonstrate the contribution of the sector and its contributory importance to all of the Scottish Government’s strategic outcomes

Key findings so far:

The value of community transport in Scotland in terms of combined turnovers is around £10m.

Of this around £3m is grant aid from public agencies and the rest is earned income from fares, hires and contracts.

At least 2,500 people volunteer for community transport giving at least 280,000 hours of their time each year. If this work was paid for it would cost at least £1.65 million per annum based on the current minimum wage rate.

The community transport sector provides over 3.5 million passenger journeys each year in Scotland.

The community transport sector employs over 400 people.

22 operators now have section 22 permits. 11 have Operator Licences.  Most of the sector operates under Section 19 permits.

The community transport sector has a fleet of over 900 vehicles of which one third are small buses and two thirds are cars or MPVs.

Over 80% of community transport users are older and disabled people. 

The main purposes for which community transport is used are social outings, attendance at day care centres, shopping and access to health appointments.

Over 60% of community transport operators formed during the years when Government support was available.

30% of operators are able to plan their businesses for more than one year ahead. 70% of operators can currently plan on a year to year basis only.