The role of Community Transport has become increasingly critical in the design and delivery of practical transport solutions for providing access to services and facilities, work, education and training, and to social and leisure activities. Its role is particularly important for older people, the disabled, young people, those on low incomes and those living in rural communities with minimal (or no) public transport provision.
There have been a number of attempts in recent years to develop a more coordinated approach to the provision of community transport in South Ayrshire. Most recently, a number of community transport operators (CTOs) and members of third sector intermediary bodies came together, through a Partners for Change facilitated process, with officers from South Ayrshire Council (SAC) and SPT to consider planning for services which best met the transport needs of the communities in South Ayrshire. The result was SACT.
What is SACT?
SACT is a SCIO – a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation – a consortium of a number of local community transport operators and other interested third sector organisations and community groups including Access to Employment; VASA; South Ayrshire Council; Strathclyde Partnership for Transport; Strokefolk; the Red Cross; Kyle Stroke Group; Adventure Centre for Education; Whitlett Victoria Football Club and others.
SACT’s aim is to develop a coordinated community transport sector for South Ayrshire which will enable CTOs and public agencies in South Ayrshire to:
Jointly promote and market community transport services
Recruit and train volunteers in partnership with the CTOs
Design, develop and commission training for the volunteers
Coordinate and manage the joint tendering of services in partnership with the CTOs of South Ayrshire
Institute a central booking system to use resources more efficiently
SACT is also actively involved in the Sustrans Active Travel Hub Project Framework Agreement with South Ayrshire Council. The aim of the Active Travel Hub is to encourage the communities of South Ayrshire to undertake a modal change from the use of private cars and choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys which have a knock-on benefit for the environment.