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Community transport

The Villager is a community transport scheme for residents living in rural areas of Medway.
It is operated by Medway Norse on a not-for-profit basis to provide a range of transport services for Medway's villages, including minibus hire for community groups and regular excursions to various destinations. Its drivers are mainly volunteers, which helps to keep prices as low as possible.

By operating with its own vehicles and volunteer drivers, a community transport scheme can provide lots of new not-for-profit bus services which existing bus companies are unable to provide. These services can also be a lot more flexible than normal buses, as the minibuses can divert from the main roads where required.Photo of villager bus

 

Services

  • minibus hire for community groups
  • regular trips to a range of destinations

 

Membership Fees

To book on a Villager trip you must be a member of the Villager. An annual membership cost £12 for an individual or £26 for a family membership.

Minibus hire

The Villager currently has 2 minibuses available for hire. These vehicles can seat up to 16 passengers and have removable seats, allowing room for up to three wheelchairs. The minibuses have a low-floor, easy-access entrance at the front, air-conditioning and manual transmission.

Who can hire the minibuses?

Vehicle hire is open to any community, voluntary or charitable group based in rural Medway. Organisations based in urban Medway but with a significant proportion of their members or activities in Medway's countryside may also hire the vehicles but groups that focus solely on Medway's urban area are not eligible to join. Before an organisation can hire one of the Villager minibuses, it must first become a group member.

Prices

Annual group membership of the Villager costs £27. Prices for vehicle hire vary depending on the length and duration of the trip. As a rough guide, prices start at £84, which includes fuel for up to 50 miles of travel. Additional mileage is charged at £1 per mile if you supply your own driver or £1.50 per mile if one of the Villager volunteers is used. Contact The Villager for a more detailed quotation.

Vehicle hire is subject to a deposit of £20, which will be deducted from the cost of hire at the time of invoicing. We may keep the deposit if you cancel a booking at short notice.

Drivers

As a community transport scheme the Villager relies on volunteer drivers to provide its services.
If a group can supply someone to drive the minibus, the Villager will provide them with driver training free of charge, subject to conditions (this may not be required if they already hold a relevant qualification). Groups that supply their own drivers are also offered a discount. If a group does not have a driver of its own, the Villager will contact its pool of volunteers and see if there is a driver available. Please note that there may not be a driver available at the time you require, so a group is more likely to be able to hire a minibus if it can provide its own driver.

If you’re interested in becoming a driver

Most of the services are provided by volunteer drivers who give up their own time to drive the minibuses. This includes regular trips and services provided for local groups.

  • You’ll be given free training and support
  • We’ll pay you for out-of-pocket expenses you incur while driving
  • If you have held your licence since before 1997, you can drive a Villager minibus without any further qualifications.

 

For more information on The Villager please contact Medway Norse on 01634 283 224 or laura.hope@ncsgrp.co.uk