Wheels in Nairnshire (WiN) was originally formed by members of the Nairn & Ardersier Patients Group as a volunteer car driver scheme. WIN has worked in partnership with Highland Council’s Transport Co-ordination Unit since 2019 and after the suspension of service due to COVID has now re-launched to create a fantastic project to deliver demand responsive transport to Nairnshire communities.
In addition to its original voluntary car sharing scheme, Highland Council has sponsored WIN to reintroduce the Dial-a-Bus service to the area, in the process, procuring an electric vehicle understood to be one of the first in the UK to have a fully electric, wheelchair accessible vehicle MPV (Nissan e-NV200).
Dial a Bus provides an on-demand service to enable local people to get around Nairn and Nairnshire. Someone unable to use their own or other public transport needing to get across the area simply calls WIN’s coordinator and books their door-to-door journey. Passengers are not restricted to timetables or defined routes so can (subject to demand) make journeys which fit their needs. Booking at least the day before is recommended.
WIN’s volunteer car driver scheme will take local people on any journey within the county and to medical appointments at Raigmore and Ross Memorial Hospitals and can be booked in the same way. Like Dial a Bus the service is door-to-door, but volunteers use their own cars to provide lifts.
We take people shopping, to meet friends for lunch and to and from health related appointments – the GP, dentist, physiotherapist, clinic appointments in Raigmore and Dingwall. We can also collect prescriptions and shopping for you.
We are a charity so need to cover our costs. We don’t charge set fees but instead ask you to pay what you can to help us. As a guide, it costs around 25p to 35p per mile to drive you and we don’t get money back from the national bus pass scheme. We don’t expect you to pay if this would cause you hardship. You can also pay and donate here
Current COVID precautions
Car sharing is only permitted by the Scottish Government for “essential reasons”, so to protect you and your driver we have strict rules on social distancing and sanitising our cars. Our drivers will wear masks and wipe down all the contact points on both the inside and outside of their vehicle before and after your trip. We ask you to wear a mask and to wrap up warm…we’ll have to keep a window open during the journey. For social distancing purposes, we can only carry one passenger, or one passenger and their carer, and you will have to sit diagonally behind the driver.
Emma Roddick, MSP for Highlands and Islands, has helped us set up a connection with the Scottish Ambulance Service. Emma visited us at the end of October to learn more about us and gave our lovely electric people carrier a try. Following on from that she put us in touch with Hospital Transport. Hospital transport…Keep reading
So, a little over six months since we re-started the car scheme AND the Dial a Bus and things are going well. Despite the pandemic lots of you have felt safe enough to venture out and make use of our service. We’ve nearly 100 of you on our books and regularly carry more than 30…Keep reading
Fergus Ewing, MSP for Inverness and Nairn came to see for himself Wheels In Nairnshire’s (WIN) new electric Dial a Bus and to hear more about the services the charity provides across Nairnshire. He was joined by Provost Laurie Fraser, Highland Councillors Tom Heggie and Liz MacDonald, alongside Don Henderson representing Highland Council’s Transport Coordination…Keep reading