North Salop Wheelers
Community Bus Project
Terms and Conditions and Constitution
1. The name of the organisation shall be “NS Wheelers”
2. The aims and objectives of NS Wheelers is to make affordable accessible transport available to the people of that area of North Shropshire to the North of Wem and to the South of Whitchurch. The map of this area shown on our website. www.northsalopwheelers.co.uk). In particular to those people who are unable to access other means of public transport by reason of age, disability, isolation or poverty. It is also our stated intention to be a not for profit organisation run for the benefit or our members and by our members and to raise sufficient funds as will be needed for the furtherance of our aims and objectives.
3. Individual members of the organisation shall be anyone who uses or helps to run the NS Wheeler mini-bus/community car and is qualified to do so under the terms of our operating permit.
4. Group members shall be any organisation that hires the mini-bus.
5. Individual members shall pay a discretionary £2.00 annual fee to join.
6. Member organisations shall pay a £5.00 annual fee to join and £5.00 hiring fee each time they hire the mini-bus. A returnable deposit shall also be paid by hirers.
The organisation shall elect
the following officers :-
These officers will serve for one year and be eligible for re-election
8. Area representatives will be elected. (the exact number will depend on how many areas the mini-bus serves).
9. Committee members and representative will be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting held in January each year.
10. The Committee will meet not less than 6 times per year
11. A quorum will be composed of 2 Officers and 4 representatives.
12. An auditor will be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.
13. The Chairman’s/Secretary’s report and the audited Accounts will be presented at the Annual General Meeting.
MINIBUS HIRE POLICY
This handbook sets out the procedures, and terms and conditions for
hiring minibuses operated by North Salop Wheelers
All minibuses are operated under the Small Bus Permit legislation. North Salop Wheelers is the registered holder of a Small Bus Permit for each minibus, and every hire is carried out under the terms of the Permit. This means that:-
· A minibus can only be hired by group members of North Salop Wheelers
· A minibus cannot be hired by an individual or a member of the general public.
· All hires take place in the name of North Salop Wheelers
· A minibus cannot be hired for activities (or as part of activities) which are profit making. This means that a minibus cannot be hired by a private residential home, a private nursing home or a private nursery.
· Whilst on hire, a minibus can only be driven by someone who is on the North Salop Wheelers Register of Drivers.
Subject to availability, a minibus may be hired by a group member on either a self-drive basis or a with-driver basis.
It is important to realise that demand for hiring minibuses in our fleet often exceeds the available supply and, therefore, we cannot guarantee that a member will be able to make all the bookings they would like.
There are 2 minibuses in the North Salop Wheelers fleet.
All the minibuses are fitted with a passenger-lift and have removable seats to allow the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs.
The saloon seats in each minibus are fitted with inertia reel restraint systems.. Passengers must use the available restraint systems at all times, unless they hold a medical exemption certificate.
The seating capacities (including the driver) for our fleet are:
N.B. The maximum number of seats is reduced when carrying passengers in wheelchairs.
Each minibus is equipped with:
Wheelchair clamps. (please order when booking)
Restraint systems for passengers travelling in wheelchairs.
A first aid kit.
Two fire extinguishers.
North Salop Wheelers Minibus Hire Policy.
Blue Badge Scheme leaflet.
Local Road Map.
SELF-DRIVE MINIBUS HIRE
SMALL BUS PERMIT OPERATION
REGISTER OF DRIVERS
Entitlement to drive minibuses.
Because all hires take place under the auspices of our Small Bus Permits, technically, every hire is considered to be the supply of transport with a driver. However, for the sake of clarity, when the hirer nominates a driver from our Register of Drivers, this is referred to as self-drive minibus hire. Eligibility is partly determined by the date when a driver passed his/her UK manual car driving test. Drivers who passed the test before 1 January 1997 have an automatic entitlement (until the age of 70) to drive a minibus with 9-16 passenger seats. The old style of driving licence will show a driving entitlement of category A (cars). The new style of driving licence will show category B (cars) and D1 (9-16 passenger seat minibuses).
Drivers who passed the test after 31 December 1996 are required to pass a further driving test in order to gain entitlement to drive a minibus with 9-16 passenger seats (category D or D1 on the new style driving licence). However, under certain circumstances, a driver may drive such a vehicle without the need for such a test. These circumstances are that:
a) The driver has held a full driving licence, with entitlement to drive a car (category B), for at least two years.
b) The minibus is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body.
c) The driver is providing his/her services on a voluntary basis (i.e. unpaid except for reimbursement of expenses).
d) The gross (i.e. laden) weight of the minibus is not over 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes if the vehicle has a passenger lift and is capable of carrying people with disabilities).
e) No trailer is towed.
A driver who wishes to drive under the above exemptions will be required to sign a statement certifying that s/he meets the requirements set out in (b) and (c).
A driver who passed the manual car driving test after 31 December 1996, and who has subsequently passed a further driving test which gives an entitlement to drive category D or D1 vehicles, is required to have held his/her driving licence for a minimum of 1 year.
When a driver reaches the age of 70, entitlement to drive a minibus with 9-16 passengers is lost unless s/he passes a medical.
In addition, a driver must:
Be between the ages of 21 and 70.
Provide a photocopy of the driver's driving licence at some point
Answer the following questions:
a) Have you had any convictions within the last 5 years, or do you have any prosecutions pending?
b) Have you had an accident whilst driving a motor vehicle in the last 3 years?
c) Has any period of a ban from driving been operative within the last 5 years?
d) Has any company or underwriter ever declined, cancelled or refused to renew any motor insurance, or increased the premium or policy excess, or imposed special conditions?
Provide details about any medical condition, or medical history (whether physical or mental, including defective vision not corrected by glasses or hearing loss not corrected by a hearing aid) that may affect his/her ability to drive a minibus. In addition, details about any medication that is currently being taken, including dosage, should also be provided.
Show they have successfully undertaken formal training in driving the relevant class of vehicle
You will need to familiarise yourself with our vehicle so arrive a little early for your first hire
For our minibuses, a vehicle familiarisation can often be carried out immediately before the start of a hire, although it should always be pre-booked: for larger minibuses, it should be booked on a day well before the hire.
Vehicles in the North Salop Wheelers fleet are driven under insurance arranged by North Salop Wheelers
Insurance cover may be invalidated if any of the information contained on the North Salop Wheelers] insurance form is subsequently found to be false or inaccurate. Any material changes to the information on a driver's licence must be notified to North Salop Wheelers before that person next drives a vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet. Similarly, should a driver have an accident whilst driving any motor vehicle after his/her name is entered on the North Salop Wheelers Register of Drivers that fact must be disclosed to North Salop Wheelers before that person next drives a vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet.
North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to remove a person from the Register of Drivers if:
That person is involved in a serious own-fault accident.
That person has more than one minor own-fault accident in any 12 month period.
In all such cases, North Salop Wheelers shall be the sole arbiter when determining whether an accident is serious or of a minor nature.
Insurance excess may apply in the case of own fault accidents.
Minibuses must not be used for the carriage of goods.
All vehicles in the North Salop Wheelers fleet are covered by a Breakdown Organisation. In the instance of a breakdown please phone our base
Vehicles in the North Salop Wheelers fleet should not be driven "off-road". If a driver causes loss or damage to a North Salop Wheelers fleet vehicle by going "off-road", the costs of any necessary repairs will become the hirer's responsibility.
We recommend that lifting & handling of passengers in our minibuses should only be undertaken by individuals who have received training in the relevant techniques.
When a passenger requires to be lifted, a basic risk assessment should be undertaken. Some of the factors that should be considered include:
Is a lift necessary and appropriate?
The weight of the passenger and the nature of their disability.
The training undertaken by the relevant individuals, and the information that is available to them.
Are lifting aids available?
What practical steps are in place to minimise the risks involved?
It is the hirer's responsibility to assess each passenger's ability to use the steps or passenger lift when boarding or alighting from a North Salop Wheelers minibus. Similarly, it is the hirer's responsibility (where applicable) to assess each passenger's ability to transfer safely from a wheelchair to a seat in a North Salop Wheelers minibus, and from such a seat to a wheelchair.
It is a requirement that all children (up to 16 years) sit on forward-facing seats and wear seatbelts. Blue seats in the Renault B110 are equipped with adjustable child belts small children should use these seats only. Some vehicles in the North Salop Wheelers fleet have rearward facing seats: legislation precludes the use of such seats for the carriage of children.
Remember that young children are required to use appropriate seating, and that North Salop Wheelers do not provide baby carriers, child seats or booster cushions you will need to being your own with you
If your group is a voluntary child care organisation your driver should be accompanied by a passenger assistant who sits in the main passenger cabin whilst driving a North Salop Wheelers vehicle
MAKING A BOOKING
Bookings are subject to vehicle availability. One-off bookings can be made over the telephone to the booking line only or, if you wish, in writing. Requests for regular bookings should be made in writing and should state dates, times, vehicle required, seating capacity, etc..
In general, and subject to availability, a minibus can be booked for any period up to seven days. Bookings are be accepted at the discretion of the North Salop Wheelers Co-ordinator only
It is important that careful consideration is given to the times for which you wish to hire the vehicle, especially the return time. This is to ensure that you have the vehicle long enough to complete your journey, but also that you do not keep it unnecessarily when other groups could be using it. If, for example, you have booked a vehicle until 5.00 p.m., then it must be returned by this time. The North Salop Wheelers office closes at 5.00 p.m. and another group may be waiting to start an evening hire. In the case of late returns the vehicle should be fuelled, and seats must be replaced. If you think you may be unavoidably delayed in returning the vehicle, please telephone the North Salop Wheelers office.
Wilfully keeping a vehicle longer than the pre-booked return time will render the hirer liable to financial (or other) penalties (see clause 22 of the Terms & Conditions of Vehicle Hire). When there is an accident or breakdown, this does not apply.
Please note that the North Salop Wheelers offices are usually closed at weekends and on bank holidays If you have a vehicle require at these times, you must bear this in mind when booking
On self-drive hires, all mileage is chargeable.
All minibuses £1 per mile £45 minimum charge unless other wise arranged
Anybody hiring our minibuses or taxi must accept these terms and conditions and, if hiring will be deemed to have done so.
WITH-DRIVER MINIBUS HIRE
SMALL BUS PERMIT OPERATION
Technically, because all hires take place under the auspices of our Small Bus Permits, every hire is considered to be the supply of transport with a driver. However, for the sake of clarity, when the hirer requests us to nominate a driver from our Register of Drivers, this is referred to as with-driver minibus hire.
With-driver minibus hires are accepted at the discretion of the North Salop Wheelers Co-ordinator.
Drivers working for North Salop Wheelers carry a lot of responsibility and, should they feel it necessary, the final decision to cancel a journey (e.g. because of bad weather) lies with them.
The North Salop Wheelers pool of volunteer drivers is small: it is a delicate job to strike a balance between maintaining a volunteer's interest but also ensuring that they are not taken for granted. It is, therefore, vital that groups making use of this service do not make unreasonable requests of the volunteer. For example, a group should not unreasonably request a North Salop Wheelers driver to pick up more than the agreed number of passengers. A North Salop Wheelers driver may reserve the right to refuse a request if s/he believes it is unreasonable. A driver refreshments are the responsibility of the group we will make a surcharge £5 for driver out over lunchtime
Usually North Salop Wheelers is unable to offer an escort service on with-driver minibus hires. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the hirer to provide a reliable and competent escort. An escort is compulsory if children or other vulnerable passengers are to be carried. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to refuse a with-driver booking if a suitable escort cannot be provided.
The escort is normally expected to meet the driver at the appropriate North Salop Wheelers office, or at the first passenger pick-up point. The escort's responsibilities include:
Dealing with the needs of passengers.
Escorting passengers to and from the vehicle.
Assisting the driver in planning the route if the job involves multiple pick-ups.
Assisting the driver in the event of an accident, breakdown or emergency by looking after the passengers.
The driver is trained in use of the lift it is the escorts job to help the passengers on and off the lift
North Salop Wheelers drivers will not be responsible for lifting a passenger during the course of a hire.
It is the hirer's responsibility to assess each passenger's ability to use the steps or passenger lift when boarding or alighting from a North Salop Wheelers minibus. Similarly, it is the hirer's responsibility (where applicable) to assess each passenger's ability to transfer safely from a wheelchair to a seat in a North Salop Wheelers minibus, and from such a seat to a wheelchair. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to make its own determination about the use of steps or a passenger lift, and similarly about a transfer to and from a minibus seat, if the driver believes that safety has been compromised by the hirer's assessment.
MAKING A BOOKING
When a group requests a with-driver hire, North Salop Wheelers may accept the booking subject to driver availability. North Salop Wheelers will make every effort to find a driver and will inform the hirer of the outcome as soon as possible.
A group should liase with the driver on a with-driver hire, especially if it involves multiple pick-ups.
It is also important to be accurate about the number of passengers, especially for those travelling in wheelchairs.
It is the hirer’s responsibility to provide North Salop Wheelers with accurate information about the destination and/or venue for a with-driver hire. This includes details about the precise address, identification of any hazards, and the provision (where necessary) of directions.
You MUST be able to provide a contact telephone number that will be staffed during the time of the hire. This is especially important for hires outwith normal office hours. If you do not provide such a telephone number, North Salop Wheelers cannot be held responsible for any failure to inform you about any emergency or other problem associated with the hire: e.g. a breakdown on the way to the first pick-up.
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF VEHICLE HIRE: GENERAL
01. Bookings for vehicle hires are only accepted from members of North Salop Wheelers It is the responsibility of the member, not North Salop Wheelers to ensure that bookings made in the name of the member are made by authorised personnel (e.g. by using an Order Form). A member is responsible for the payment of any hire, accepted in good faith by North Salop Wheelers booked in its name.
02. All accounts must be paid promptly. Invoices are sent out at the end of each calendar month, and must be paid within 30 days. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to refuse bookings to any group whose account is overdue. Non-payment of invoices will result in loss of membership.
03. The invoice for any particular hire will be the responsibility of the hirer.
04. Drivers and passengers are not allowed to smoke or eat food that causes a mess. The cleaning of any such mess is the responsibility of the hirer
05. Vehicles must be returned in a clean and tidy condition: all rubbish must be removed from the vehicle before the end of the hire. Failure to do so may result in a £50 surcharge being added to the hirer's invoice.
06. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to ban a driver from driving any vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet should that person allow another person who has not been through the relevant North Salop Wheelers vehicle familiarisation process to drive a vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet. In such circumstances, the driver(s) may be liable to prosecution.
07. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to ban a driver from driving any vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet if there are reasonable grounds for believing that person knowingly failed to report any damage to, or accident involving, a vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet whilst it was in their care (i.e. during a hire).
08. Should a group fail to turn up for a booked hire, or give little or no notice of cancelling their hire, North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to levy a charge of £30 per day for each day cancelled.
09. Should a group persistently cancel their bookings, North Salop Wheelers] reserves the right to levy a charge of £30 per day for each day cancelled, regardless of the length of notice given for the cancellation.
10. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to reject, cancel or vary any booking if the purpose for which the vehicle is to be used is inconsistent with the aims, objectives or rules of North Salop Wheelers
11. In the event of cancellation or change to a booking by North Salop Wheelers no liability can be accepted for any loss, financial or otherwise, arising from our failure to provide a vehicle, and North Salop Wheelers cannot be held responsible for breach of contract in such circumstances.
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF VEHICLE HIRE: SELF-DRIVE HIRE
12. Anyone driving a vehicle in the North Salop Wheelers fleet must be on the North Salop Wheelers Register of Drivers and have successfully undertaken a recognised driving assessment and relevant training course(s).
13. Should a driver provide false or inaccurate information at the time of registering with North Salop Wheelers and insurance cover is consequently invalidated, North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to take legal action against the relevant parties.
14. Drivers must notify North Salop Wheelers of any changes in the circumstances relating to their driving licence (including changes in health) which occur after they have completed the insurance form.
15. Any fines during self-drive hires resulting from illegal parking (including misuse of a Blue Badge) will be passed onto, and are the responsibility of the hirer. North Salop Wheelers will make the relevant authority aware of the address of the driver
16. Any prosecution of a driver arising from the use of a North Salop Wheelers fleet vehicle while on self-drive hire will be the responsibility of the hirer and/or driver. This includes any charges against a driver arising from vehicle defects.
17. Drivers must not drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
18. Drivers must not indulge in dangerous driving, or abuse the vehicle.
19. Drivers must inspect the vehicle before and after each hire, and note down any damage or fault on the logsheet.
20. The hirer is responsible for maintaining correct oil and water levels, including winscreen washer bottle and correct tyre pressures, during the period of the hire.
21. The hirer may be liable for the cost of replacing a tyre if it is damaged beyond repair due to kerbing, or being driven on whilst it is flat or punctured.
22. Minibuses must be returned no later than the previously booked time. Should an unauthorised late return of a vehicle result in another group being unable to hire the vehicle at the time they booked, any resultant financial liability may be passed on to the first group. Wilfully keeping a vehicle beyond the booked time can be construed as taking the vehicle without the owner's consent. In such cases, North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to take any appropriate action to recover the vehicle North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to levy an additional surcharge of £50 in the event of an unauthorised late return of a vehicle. North Salop Wheelers reserves the right to refuse hires from groups who are persistently late in returning vehicles.
23. Receipts for fuel, oil or minor repairs incurred during a self-drive hire must be returned to the North Salop Wheelers office, together with the logsheet and vehicle keys. Failure to do so will result in these costs NOT being deducted from the invoice.
24. Any accident or damage to the vehicle must be notified to North Salop Wheelersas soon as possible.
25. Engine damage resulting from the wrong type of fuel being used while on hire will be the responsibility of the hirer, who will have to pay the full repair costs.
Emergency contacts booking line 01948 880037
Other numbers are contained in the on board copy of this agreement