Harborough Community Bus (HCB) is a small charity local to Market Harborough which runs minibuses for
community groups and certain individuals. It is not a typical ''bus service'' and
is only available to be used by members - but it is very easy to join, see below.
Please do get in touch if you want to discuss using the minibuses.
Examples of members and the transport they receive include:
- Residents groups once a month to local pubs for lunch
- Church groups to a weekly social event for tea and cards
- Youth organisations to regular events
- Disabled group to a weekly club night
- Day trips to local towns or garden centres
- Groups for walking, crafting, bowls, commemoration services
HCB is a charity run entirely by volunteers. All of our drivers are volunteers. We run the minibuses
because we want to help people locally who would otherwise have some difficulty getting out. We are not
carers, but we do care and we take whatever time is needed to help our users in whatever way we can.
We are always looking for new drivers - contact a trustee if you are interested.
We currently have three accessible minibuses with 14 to 16 passenger seats. All of our minibuses have lifts to help those who can`t manage steps. The minibuses are also equipped to carry wheelchairs.
We keep track of our minibuses using an online diary. The diary is available to view by anyone for the following reasons:
- By the trustees to monitor how things are doing
- By the drivers so they can see where they are supposed to be going!
- By members so that they can check their bookings are up to date
- By members so that they can check on availability
- By anyone else thinking of booking a minibus for their trip
The diary shows when the buses are booked out but may not show exactly what time they are being used - it's always
worth getting in touch to check availability.
It is important to remember that all the drivers are volunteers and we need as much notice as possible to arrange their duties. Put another way, if you give us a month's notice or more, we will probably be able to get you a driver. If you want to go this week, chances are that all the drivers will be busy, but you can only ask!
We charge a small amount to cover the running costs of the buses. Typically, this is about £25 for something local
around Harborough. For longer trips it works out just over £1.00 per mile for the round trip. For the journeys we
regularly travel, we have a list of prices.
We are not allowed to make a profit but we are allowed to charge a little to save for a new bus in the future. In reality, this is never enough and we have been generously supported by Market Harborough & the Bowdens Charity who have bought several buses over the years. The most recent minibus was provided by the Department for Transport as part of its Community Minibus Fund in 2016.
Becoming a member
We are a local charity and you or your group has to be from the Market Harborough area to join. After that you can become a member if you
- are a community group or
- need transport because of age, sickness, disability or poverty
To become a member simply contact the charity, see the contact page.
Although HCB started as a charity in 2016, it was formed by the merger of two other charities that had been doing
the same sort of thing in the Harborough area for over 40 years.
The Market Harborough Community Service Vehicle Fund was established in 1976 as registered charity number 504931. Its activities were: ''Maintaining and operating two community service vehicles for transport of local elderly and disabled persons for leisure or medical purposes.''
The People's Accessible Transport for Harborough, or PATH as it was known, was set up in 2001 as registered charity number 1093671. Its activities were: ''The provision of accessible transport.''
During 2015, the trustees of the Community Service Vehicle Fund and PATH decided to join the two groups together to form HCB. The merger was designed to give greater resilience to the service being provided, creating a larger group of volunteers and pooling resources.
A new constitution for HCB was agreed, and HCB was registered with the charity commission number 1167030. Our constitution and all of the minutes of our meetings are published on our website for anyone who is interested to read them.