Driving Force – voluntary transport for non-urgent journeys
Poor mobility and health, lack of transport and not having confidence to go out alone act as major barriers to people getting out more locally. We are here to assist.
What we do:
Driving Force is a voluntary car driver service providing door-to-door transport for non-urgent trips. We work with a team of fantastic volunteer drivers who help local people without access to their own transport and unable to use public transport due to mobility, disability or location to make journeys to:
- Appointments – hospital, GP, dental, optical and podiatry
- Day centres and lunch clubs
- Shops, bank, post office and other essential trips
- Social visits to relatives, hairdressers etc.
Who is the service for?
The scheme is open to residents of the Harrogate area who meet the above eligibility criteria. Passengers can bring carers/companions with them, subject to space in the vehicle and, wherever possible, we will accommodate wheelchair users who can transfer from the wheelchair into a standard passenger vehicle.
Which areas do we cover?
We help people living in Harrogate, Knaresborough and the surrounding villages to make local journeys. Longer journeys can be arranged subject to volunteer availability.
Click here for details of our Voluntary Car Driving Service in Ripon and the surrounding rural area.
When can I travel?
This service is intended for non-urgent journeys and we require a minimum of two working days’ notice to arrange. Subject to volunteer availability, we will always try to get a driver for when you need to travel, although the majority of our journeys are carried out weekday daytimes.
Can I make a regular journey?
We support many of our passengers with regular journeys to community based events, such as lunch clubs and social groups. If you have a regular journey you would like transport for, please contact us.
How much does it cost?
Our drivers offer their time free of charge. We do charge 45p per mile towards their vehicles’ running costs. The mileage charge starts and ends at the volunteer’s home, covering all legs of the journey and is usually payable directly to the driver. There is also a £1 booking fee per return journey towards our scheduling costs. Sometimes it is possible to get help with the cost of journeys to medical appointments. Please ask us for more information. Please bring change to be able to give the volunteer the exact money if possible.
How do I arrange a journey?
Simply call us on 01423 813090 to book your travel, providing at least two working days’ notice. Our office is open weekdays 9am to 3pm, with an answerphone at other times. Our scheduler will match your needs with an available volunteer driver. You will always be advised who to expect and the time of the driver’s arrival. Our drivers will take you to your destination and either wait for your or return to collect you at an agreed time. Please note all our journeys are subject to volunteer availability.
Mask wearing is now optional for our volunteer drivers and clients. If you have any concerns, please give us a call to discuss with a member of our team.
There are some criteria which you MUST meet to be able to use the service:
- You must wash your hands before and after travelling
- You must be able to get to the car without assistance from the volunteer
- If you use a wheelchair, we may be able to arrange transport ourselves or with a partner organisation so please get in touch to find out more
- You must tell us if you have symptoms of Covid or develop any symptoms within 48 hours of your journey
Will I always get a journey?
Whilst we will always try our very best to help you with transport, please note all journeys are subject to eligibility criteria and volunteer availability. We also require a minimum of two working days’ notice to arrange transport for you.
If you meet all the above criteria and need, please call the office weekdays on 01423 813090 and we will talk you through the process. If we are unable to answer the phone please leave a message and we will call you back. Journeys are always subject to the availability of our volunteers.
What people say about us
‘I feel I can trust your drivers.’
‘It’s always so nice to see a regular driver and have a catch up with them.’
‘My regular volunteer driver is so dependable and has become like a friend to me.’
Click here to find out more about becoming a volunteer driver for Driving Force.
Our voluntary car driving services are part of the North Yorkshire County Council Go Local community transport scheme
Here are details of other community transport services available in the local area:
Boroughbridge Community care
Happy Wanderers Ambulance Association
Wheelchair accessible minibus
Nidderdale Community Transport
Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE)
This service is available to Wetherby residents.
Contact Bridget on 01937 222066