Maiden Newton Country Cars

Maiden Newton Country Cars

I thought it might be useful to give readers a little more information about the history of the Maiden Newton Country Cars service, what it offers and how anyone interested in volunteering can get involved.

We provide transport to appointments at hospitals, doctors, dentists, chiropodists, opticians etc. and visits to relatives in hospital for anyone who has no other means of transport. The service has become more vital over the last few years as public transport services have been withdrawn.

We were set up in 1997 under the County Council’s Country Cars Scheme which at that time provided a large number of services across the County with background administration. This covered the arranging of public liability insurance, the carrying out of recruitment checks on new drivers, the provision of drivers’ record keeping books and the payment of additional monies to drivers to cover the miles driving to/from clients. About 8 years ago, the County decided to withdraw their support for the schemes and the majority became independent under the Neighbour Car Community Transport model. Two schemes in West Dorset (Maiden Newton and Beaminster) appealed against the decision to go independent and, as of today, continue to receive support from Dorset Council.

The area covered by the Maiden Newton Scheme is basically the catchment area of Greenford School and the Surgery and includes Compton Valence, West Compton, Wynford Eagle, Frome Vauchurch, Toller Fratrum, Toller Porcorum, Kingcombe, Chilfrome, Cattistock, Frome St Quintin and Wraxall.  Individuals pay a minimal fee (45p per mile) to their driver.

Anyone who requires the service should ring 07833 074423 and we will assess eligibility and organize a driver to carry out the journey. Other than in exceptional circumstances, please try to give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice.

 We currently have 14 drivers but, at any one time, a number of these will be away or have other commitments. We are always, therefore, looking for more volunteers and currently have none who lives in Cattistock. Drivers use their own cars and receive 45p per mile driven. In the most recent quarter, drivers averaged 6 trips each or around one per fortnight. We try to share trips out between all drivers, but there is no problem if someone can’t make a particular day or time – there is always someone else who will be able to pick it up. It is fully accepted that most drivers are retired and lead busy lives! Anyone interested in becoming a driver should contact Marlene D’Allen (07564 244602) or Barbara Droop (07796 782618) to get more information.