Borders Wheels: Development and Aims

Community transport provides a vital service in the rural Scottish Borders. Its door-to-door service enables people with a wide range of transport or mobility difficulties to access medical and social services, and it also provides affordable transport for voluntary organisations.

For over thirty years BAVS and the Bridge have provided the four local Wheels projects that cover the whole of the Borders. These have now been brought together in a single organisation, Borders Wheels that has a fleet of 17 minibuses, MPVs and cars and serves 500 individuals and 100 organisations.

The board includes three directors from The Bridge and three from BAVS, and is chaired by former MSP Mike Rumbles. Consultant David Hunter has assisted with the merger process and is acting as interim CEO till Denise Carmichael takes up post at the beginning of March 2024. Continuity for existing customers during the integration of the services is a top priority, and the technical aspects of the merger such as staff & vehicle transfer will be completed on 31st March.

The new organisation will bring improvements in accessibility, quality and sustainability, and provide a base from which the potential of community transport in the Borders can be fully realised. A longterm strategic plan will be developed in partnership with funders and other providers, potentially involving expansion into new areas of health, social care and education delivery.

The overall goal is that Scottish Borders individuals and communities will have better quality and more comprehensive community transport services that are more effective in overcoming transport barriers to accessing health provision, social care, community activities & social networks.

February 2024