Little White Car pilot scheme to launch in upper Wensleydale

A pilot scheme to improve access to health care in upper Wensleydale is being launched this month.

Community leaders say the Little White Car scheme will help residents attend hospital appointments.

Sean Warren, from the Upper Dales Community Partnership, said: “Access to healthcare and in particular hospital appointments has long been an issue for residents of upper Wensleydale.

“Patients have relied on relatives, the good nature of neighbours and the dedication of volunteers from A Good Life project.

“To help bridge the gap in access to health and social care, the Upper Dales Community Partnership, The Little White Bus, and A Good Life project are pleased to introduce the Little White Car.”

The six-month project will examine the viability of a community healthcare car in upper Wensleydale.

This service will be available to eligible resident who live in and around Garsdale Station, Hawes, Aysgarth, West Burton and the surrounding villages.

“The goal is to provide affordable transport to allow easy access to medical and social care appointments, not currently served by public transport or other viable patient transport services,” Sean added.

The service will run on weekdays between 8.30am and 6pm and the car will be driven by trained volunteers.

The car can take patients to medical appointments at hospitals in Richmond, Northallerton, Middlesbrough, and some hospitals in Cumbria too.

Transport to other social care appointments can be arranged.

There will be a charge for each journey, but passengers receiving certain qualifying benefits may be able to travel for free, or reduced cost.

Return prices are from any location served by the service are £15 to the Friary in Richmond, £25 to the Friaarge and £35 to James Cook in Middlesbrough.

The project launches tomorrow and bookings and enquiries can be made by calling 01969 667400.

The Little White Car needs seven days’ notice to arrange any booking.

All bookings will be run on a first come, first served basis.