How do I book a journey?
Call 0330 041 4578
and we’ll get the wheels rolling!
Meet friends old and new
Catch up with people you’d like to visit and get to know our lovely volunteers
Now you can get to those important appointments on time
The Freedom Wheels service has been set up to help you get around if you are struggling to access public transport because of reduced mobility from injury, disability or infirmity, or simply because of where you live.
Get out and about again using the scheme to connect you with friendly and reliable people who can help you get from A to B.
Examples of journeys include shopping, getting to doctors and dentists appointments, making public transport connections or simply visiting your friends.
We’ve modelled Freedom Wheels on successful community car schemes which have been running in towns across the UK, in some cases for more than 20 years.
How much does it cost?
Freedom Wheels is a not-for-profit scheme run to support the local community. All the drivers are giving their time for free, so the charge is simply 45p per mile to cover their petrol costs plus £1 booking fee for the administration of the service. You pay this in cash when your driver arrives. It’s much cheaper than a taxi but gives you the same door to door comfort. If anyone travels with you then you simply share the fare between you.
The miles are counted from the volunteer’s home to your collection point, onto your destination and return to your/their home and you will be informed of the price prior to the journey. You will need to pay the driver at the end of the journey unless agreed otherwise with Freedom Wheels when the journey is booked.
You will not be charged for the volunteer’s time and the scheme does not allow for the drivers to accept tips, so any additional money offered would be given as a donation to Freedom Wheels.
Freedom Wheels uses the £1 booking fee on each journey to help fund the costs involved in the infrastructure of the scheme, including telephone charges, checking references, the safety of the car and the public liability insurance.
How long will the driver wait for me?
Drivers will wait for a passenger for up to one and a half hours for the return journey. If the waiting time is required to be longer, you may be required to pay for two separate return journeys depending on the availability of the driver.
Do I qualify?
If you live in our areas of operation and are unable to use public transport because of limited mobility or insufficient public transport provision and have no other means of getting about, you will be eligible to use Freedom Wheels to:
- visit the doctor, dentist, clinic, or chiropodist
- attend hospital appointments
- visit relatives and friends in hospital
- collect prescriptions
- connect with bus, coach or rail services
- shop for groceries and other essentials
- other trips for which there is no reasonable alternative means of transport
Where possible we try to get a driver who lives as close as possible to the passenger’s home.
When is the service available?
You will need to give Freedom Wheels at least 48 hours’ notice, preferably more. We are not a taxi service and may not be able to find an available volunteer for you if the journey is less than 2 days ahead.
Transport provision is at the discretion of Freedom Wheels and relies on the availability of volunteer drivers. We are usually able to meet your requirements but occasionally you may be asked to share transport and be flexible about the times that you travel. The more notice you can give us the better chance we have to make the arrangements you need.
Every effort will be made to arrange your journey although it may not always be possible to provide transport for every journey requested.
What if I need help getting in and out of the car?
Our drivers will assist in some light assistance, but if you need lifting to get into or out of a vehicle you will need to bring your own escort.
Can I bring my children or other passengers?
You are welcome to bring your children, but you may need to supply the appropriate child seat for them. We are not permitted to drive unaccompanied children under the age of 16.
Friends or relatives are welcome to accompany you on your journey, please state this when booking your transport.
How far afield can I go?
Mostly you will probably want to use our service for trips are to local places such as doctors, hospital appointments and colleges. If we can find a driver we may be able to arrange longer distance trips outside the area such as a trip to the seaside or shopping in another town.
North Yorkshire County Council offers a subsidy to help cover your cost for long journeys to and from medical appointments so you should always be clear about the nature of the journey when book Freedom Wheels as we may be able to help you access funds.
Will I be safe?
All our drivers carry an identity card and we will tell you of the driver’s name in advance.
Volunteers have to supply references and undergo a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check. We ensure that they have a current driving licence, MOT certificate and insurance for the car they drive. We also provide public liability insurance to the driver whilst driving you.
If you require a wheelchair for an appointment we can make one available – please ask the office for information when booking.
Freedom Wheels will check whether a wheelchair accessible vehicle is available for your journey.
If you cannot transfer from your wheelchair to a car seat, the scheme may not be suitable for you – but we may be able to help you to join the Dial a Ride service run by SCAD (Skipton & Craven Action for Disability) instead.
Smoking is not permitted in volunteers’ cars.
If you need to cancel your pre-booked journey, please telephone 03300 414578 as soon as you can. Failure to do so could result in future use of the service being withdrawn.
Example – medical journey
Our driver will wait with you while you attend your appointment, and bring you home when you are ready to leave unless you are being admitted, or are in for a procedure that will take a few hours.
If you have a hospital appointment to be admitted for surgery we can arrange a driver to drop you off at your hospital appointment and pick you up again to transport you home later on in the day, or on another day, whenever you are ready to come out.
Because this requires two journeys, it will be charged as such.
Example: if your driver lives in West Marton, you live in Gargrave and are being admitted to Airedale Hospital on a Monday and discharged on a Wednesday. The total mileage for the two journeys would be around 60 miles at .45p, so the cost would be £27, plus £2 in booking fees.
Example – social journey
Freedom Wheels can provide transport to a variety of places and events to get you out and about.
Providing the volunteer driver is happy to have animals in their car we can help with taking pets to the vet, providing transport to airports and train stations if you are going on holiday, visits to see friends and relatives, transport to funerals or trips to the barber or hairdressers.
The scheme itself does not organise or run holidays or trips, we simply provide a driver. The scheme must not be used over public transport if you are able to use that.