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ORG IN THE SPOTLIGHT – HCL TRANSPORT

Published: April 29, 2020

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HcL Transport runs supported community transport services in West Lothian. We provide door-through-door services for people with limited mobility who are unable to use ordinary buses and/or suffering a degree of social exclusion due to age, disability, additional support needs, health issues (long or short term) and geographic remoteness. We have been providing these services for 37 years across Edinburgh and the Lothians.  
In 2019 we provided over 80,000 passenger journeys, a weekly average of 1,600 passengers. Our services are: 

Dial-A-Ride – journeys are wherever the passenger(s) want to go – to medical appointments, meet friends, visits to family, to the shops, church, cinema or theatre, to Waverley or Edinburgh Airport. Or group outings. This service is available 7 days a week including evenings. 

Dial-A-Bus provides transport from home to local shopping centres or supermarkets. The Service operates at least once a week from most areas in West Lothian taking passengers to The Centre in Livingston, 
Asdas and Morrisons in Livingston, 
Morrisons and Aldi in Bathgate and Tescos in Bathgate and Linlithgow. 

The drivers not only help passengers on and off the bus, but help them from inside their home onto the vehicle. On the return they support them into their home and take their shopping inside their home. Each bus can carry two wheelchair passengers in their wheelchairs. All buses are fitted with wheelchair lifts at the rear. 

Our services are vital to so many people. It allows them independence, enables them to get out of their home, meet people, reducing isolation and improving wellbeing while contributing to a sense of community.  

On the bus, people who would not know each other without this service, have a great comradery, they look out for each other and keep in touch out with the Dial-A services.  

The difference our service makes is even more apparent now during this pandemic, where so many of our passengers are now in isolation. We are trying to support them in different ways, in partnership with other local organisations and charities, to ensure they have food delivered and can attend urgent medical appointments. 

Service users tell us:  
‘Without DAR sometimes I would be housebound. The chaps are always welcoming and I feel safe and secure at all times. I look forward to them coming to get me, no matter where I am going. Thanks a lot to your drivers and the service’ 

‘This service means I can get out and about. It lets me continue to do things I couldn’t do otherwise’ 
‘The service gives me independence. I use it for the hospital, shopping, meals with friends – taxis are very expensive’ 

To find out more about using our services and prices call our office in Bathgate – 01506 633336 (Dial-A-Bus) and 01506 633953 (Dial-A-Ride).  

If you are interested in volunteering either as a driver, in the office helping with despatch or on an adhoc basis to help at events and with fundraising,
​please email bathgate@handicabs.org.uk. 

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