Pilot Buchan transport initiative launches on Wednesday October 7

A new initiative offering free community transport has been launched in Buchan.

The Be-Link’D pilot scheme unveiled today (Wed, Oct 7) is being operated by Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus to help meet the needs of people in rural areas who cannot access suitable transport because of existing bus times, accessibility or cost.

It will be available Monday to Friday with pick-ups from 9am and a last drop-off at 3.30pm.

The project has been led and developed by a number of Community Planning partners including Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Buchan Development Partnership, Foyer and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Buchan Community Planning Officer Maureen Stephen described the pilot as “a fantastic opportunity to try to meet the transport needs of our rural communities”.  

She said: “We know that a lack of transport contributes to people’s feelings of isolation, so in these challenging times, enabling people to stay connected is more important than ever.

“The key to the project’s success will be in clearly demonstrating that there is sufficient support within the community to make the service financially sustainable.”   

Once a referral form has been completed and processed, either the referrer or the client can phone or email to book the transport.

Clients who are already registered with the Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus for the T4U service will not be eligible to use the new scheme. 

Jayne Fraser, Finance Manager with Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus said: “We are delighted to be involved with this pilot because it fits well with the services already being provided by our organisation.  

“This is also an exciting opportunity for us to work more closely with other service providers. All the required adaptations to our buses have been undertaken to allow people to travel safely and we are looking forward to welcoming our new passengers.”

The Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus office is open from 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday.

Bookings and informal enquiries can be made by calling Lynda McFarlane on (01771) 619191, 07397 270965 or by emailing booking@belinkd.co.uk