The Ulva Ferry Community Transport Scheme was set up in 2014 to offer transport to/from Ulva Ferry: a beautiful but remote and geographically isolated community on the Isle of Mull. Since the demise of the postbus over 15 years ago, there have been no public transport options for locals or visitors, exacerbating the isolation of some residents, and making it difficult for visitors to explore this beautiful corner of Mull without their own car.
A community consultation carried out in 2013 by Ulva School Community Association (USCA), working with Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT), found the provision of transport to be one of the highest priorities of local residents. Thanks to grant funding from Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Ideas fund, a feasibility study and business plan were produced, confirming the need for community transport, and thanks to a grant from the Scottish Government’s Community Transport Vehicle Fund, a diesel-electric hybrid minibus was purchased in July 2014, and specifically adapted for wheelchair use. In November 2017 a fully electric car joined the fleet, giving more travel options.
Our community transport has transformed lives, enabling previously housebound residents to get out and about with family members, and offering travel to hospital appointments and respite care. The Community Bus is used widely, from taking residents to local groups such as Mull Safe & Sound (a mental health support group) to transporting pupils from Ulva Primary School to swimming and PE lessons elsewhere on the island.
MULL AND Iona COMMUNITY TRUST
Mull and Iona Community Trust is a dedicated and passionate locally based organisation focused on improving the quality of life for the residents of Mull and Iona. With a long track record of delivering successful community development projects; addressing problems of geographic isolation and economic and social exclusion in remote and rural communities. Mull and Iona Community Trust takes pride in working with many external organisations and crucially within our own community. MICT is involved a wide range of services and projects that range from a dementia singing group to a £1m Hydro scheme. MICT is based in Craignure, more details about its wide ranging work is available on their website and social media pages.
MICT has worked with USCA since 2013, employing two part-time Local Development Officers to deliver the priorities of USCA’s community development plan.
ULVA FERRY SCHOOL ASSOCIATION
Ulva Ferry School Association was set up in 2011 as a direct response to the threatened closure of Ulva Primary School at Ulva Ferry. As the only public space in the area, used for meetings and social events, the school’s closure would have decimated this very rural community. Having fought a successful campaign to keep the school open, USCA members soon realised that a proactive approach was needed to encourage more young families to move to, or return to, the area and a subsequent community consultation found affordable housing, community transport and shore facilities were the highest priorities of local residents. USCA has worked with Mull and Iona Community Trust since 2013, and have jointly delivered two affordable housing units, a pontoon facility and our community transport scheme.
The USCA Committee meet regularly at Ulva Primary School, and hold excellent family ceilidhs and fundraising events, which are advertised locally.
We are very grateful to our funders for generously supporting the Ulva Ferry Community Transport Service: