Lochaber Community Car Scheme

  • Do you have a problem accessing public transport?
  • Are you having difficulty attending appointments or social activities?

This site gives information about our service and how to contact us.

About us

The purpose of the community car scheme is to provide a service for people who are unable to use, or have difficulty with access to public transport. Our aim is to help people with journeys which they may otherwise be unable to make. Journeys can be for medical appointments, local trips for shopping or seeing a friend, attending community activities or visiting family in residential care.
The scheme has been set up in areas around Lochaber with small clusters of volunteer drivers.
Please note, the service is not intended to be used in place of buses, hospital transport or taxis if you are able to use these facilities. We are unable to duplicate journeys where other transport exists.

Patient Transport is available for hospital appointments so please contact them rather than the car scheme. The phone number for the Patient Transport Service is 0300 123 1236.

Who can use the scheme?

Journeys need to be within Lochaber and are available to people who have no other means of travel due to ill health, injury or a disability. Some drivers can assist passengers in/out of the vehicle and carry shopping if required.
All volunteer drivers are registered with us. They pick up passengers as directed and will wait to return them home again if requested. Should the visit be for a lengthy period of time arrangements will be made for a later pick up. The service can also be used in a rural area when help is only needed to connect with public transport.
Some reasons why the car scheme can be very helpful:

  • For appointments with the doctor, optician or chiropodist, etc.
  • For a temporary period while recovering from an operation or injury.
  • When seeing less of friends than before because it’s difficult to get on a bus or walk any distance.
  • You or the driver in the family has had to give up the car.
  • When family have moved away or are just on holiday for a few weeks. (Many neighbours help a great deal but can’t always be there).
  • To stop isolation and help participation in community activities.
  • In a rural area you may only need help to get to a bus, ferry or train.

When is the car scheme available?

Most trips are during daytime hours Monday to Friday. Evenings and weekend trips are possible if a volunteer is available. There is no limit to the number of journeys a person can make but we like to share the service around as many people as possible.

What is the cost?

The fares are based on  mileage while the passenger is in the vehicle.   There is a minimum fare of £4 which covers a return journey of up to 8 miles.   A return trip of nine to ten miles is £5, 11 to 15 miles is £6, 16 to 20 miles is £7 and 21 to 30 miles is £8.  For longer trips, 31 to 50 miles is £10.  All fares are based on each individual travelling and booked through the car scheme.   The fare is paid to the driver at the end of the trip and they in turn receive expenses for the whole journey.    

 How do I contact the car scheme?

To use the car scheme see the telephone number below. You will be asked a few questions to clarify your transport needs and to register as a passenger. When making a booking we appreciate as much information about your trip as possible. A clear indication of the time a journey/appointment is expected to take helps so we can pass on all details to the driver. We prefer if drivers are not asked to extend trips unexpectedly for any reason as they may have personal commitments or other trips with the car scheme. Also future bookings should be made directly to the office and not with the drivers.

The contact number for the Community Car Scheme is: 01397 701222
We would appreciate 48 hours notice or more when booking a journey, unfortunately we cannot guarantee a trip at shorter notice and we cannot organise a journey for the same day. Please try to phone between 10.00 and 14.00 hours Monday to Friday unless it is necessary to rearrange or cancel a journey. You can leave a message out with these times.


Accessing suitable transport is very important when you suffer from ill health or have a disability. The shortest of journeys become a problem that can lead to extra worry and stress. Car Scheme volunteers have helped many people overcome this problem by providing a door-to-door service. The aim is to fill gaps in transport, not to duplicate services like buses, taxis or hospital transport.

The benefits of having this service available are very clear to those involved. Accessible transport promotes independence by helping people remain living in their own home. It also allows people to get out and about and be active in the community. This in turnhelps facilitate general health and well-being and gives a feeling of community spirit to an area.

We rely on community support and are now looking for more help in all areas of Lochaber. Are you aware of community transport in your area? Maybe you would like to get involved locally. If you are a driver with your own vehicle and enjoy helping others we would like to hear from you. We require drivers to register with us but there is no obligation to accept journeys when asked. With a good pool of volunteers a person with just a little time to spare can be of great benefit. All expenses are paid on a mileage rate.

Can you become a volunteer driver? Can you offer any support to a very worthwhile project? Now is a great time to be thinking about community transport. With a little help the car scheme can support your community. Please call to find out more about registering, types of journeys, training and car insurance.
Office Help? Perhaps lack of transport restricts you from volunteering. There are possibilities of volunteering in our office. Can you be a link between passengers and our volunteers? We are looking for people with some computer skills, good telephone manner and a friendly nature to take bookings and pass on journey details to drivers. Our office is at An Drochaid, Claggan.

Assisted Shopping? Occasionally we have passengers who appreciate help when shopping. Can you spend time with a person while they shop in the High Street, supermarket or their local store? Volunteers can be collected and travel along with passengers. Suitable times to help can be arranged and the car scheme pays all out of pocket expenses.


Enquiries to:  
Lochaber Community Car Scheme Tel: 01397 701222
e-mail: carscheme@carelochaber.org