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Transport services

Help you get to and from appointments

Find out what transport support is available to help you get to your health appointments.

On this page you will find

  • Information to help you plan a journey by public transport
  • Information on help with travel costs
  • Transport services provided across Greater Manchester
  • Community Transport services provided in different parts of Greater Manchester

It is important to contact services directly to discuss any costs or eligibility criteria they may have. This information was last updated 01/03/2024.

 

Planning your journey on public transport

A public transport route planner service provided by a partnership between local authorities and transport operators in the UK.

Call: 0871 200 22 33 (Calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

Visit: www.traveline.info/

Public transport information across Greater Manchester. Travel alerts, live departure information, schedules and accessible travel information.

Call: 0161 244 1000

Visit: www.tfgm.com/plan-a-journey

Help with the cost of travel

If you have a low income, you may be able to get help with NHS costs through this scheme. The scheme covers prescription costs, dental costs, eyecare costs, healthcare travel costs and wigs and fabrics supports.

Call: 0300 330 1343

Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/help-with-health-costs/nhs-low-income-scheme-lis/

If you’re referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).

For more information about the scheme and eligibility criteria

Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/help-with-health-costs/healthcare-travel-costs-scheme-htcs/

Transport services across Greater Manchester

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is commissioned to provide non-urgent patient transport services.
You may be eligible for Patient Transport Services if you have a medical condition which could stop you getting to your appointment by any other means.

Eligibility criteria

To find out if you’re eligible you will need to contact your local booking centre. You should be prepared to:

  • Give them your NHS number
  • Answer a series of questions
  • Make them aware of your mobility and any additional needs

The questions asked by the staff in the booking centre are designed to make sure they understand your requirements and so they can match transport with your medical needs if you are eligible for the service.

They want to make sure you travel as safely and as comfortably as possible to and from your appointment.

Booking Centres

Bolton 01204 462882 – (Mon-Fri: 08:30-18:30)
Bury 0161 357 2350 – (Mon-Fri: 10:30-16:00)
Greater Manchester Shared Services Care Gateway 0800 092 4020 / 0161 947 0770 – (Mon-Fri 08:00-18:00)
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale 01706 603 500 – (Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00)
Oldham 0161 357 5190 – (Mon-Fri: 08:30-17:00)
Salford and Stockport 0800 092 4020/ 0161 947 0770 – (Mon-Fri: 08:00-18:00)
Tameside and Glossop 0800 032 3240 – (Mon-Fri: 08:00-16:00)
Trafford 01772 66 00 11 – (Mon-Fri: 08:00-18:00)
Wigan Borough 01942 482 990 – (Mon-Fri: 08:00-18:00)

 

Useful information.

Making a booking

  • Monday and Tuesdays are the busiest days for NWAS’ PTS control rooms. They only need a few days’ notice to make a booking for you so you may save time waiting on the phone if you call later in the week unless your booking is urgent.
  • If you leave your mobile number NWAS will send reminder texts before your appointment. Please call them to let them know if you need to cancel.
  • NWAS has an eligibility criteria which is essential for each patient to go through for each journey, regardless of how many times you have travelled with them. This so that the most suitable transport can be determined.

Travelling with NWAS

  • Please be ready with your keys, bag, shoes on to avoid delays for others and help NWAS get you to your appointment on time.
  • NWAS may arrive up to two hours before your appointment time but they can’t give a specific arrival time as it’s dependant on a number of things, including the number of people joining you on the ambulance.
  • You may be eligible to have an escort accompany you on your journey but only if you have any specific requirements. Please let NWAS know in advance if you need to travel with somebody else.
  • Depending on your location and appointment type, it’s likely you’ll be sharing your transport with other patients. This helps NWAS get more people to their appointments on time.
  • You may wait up to 90 minutes to be taken home from your appointment.

Ring & Ride provide accessible, low cost transport to disabled people and older people with walking difficulties. If you qualify, you can book a Ring & Ride accessible minibus to take you, and an accompanying adult, door to door for journeys of up to 6 miles in Greater Manchester.

There are some exceptions where registered users may travel more than 6 miles from their home address as long as the destination is within Greater Manchester.

  • Trips which may be considered include:
  • Travel to the nearest local hospital
  • Travel to the nearest town centre or accessible transport facility

Ring & Ride minibuses are suitable for taking wheelchairs, and all drivers have had special accessibility and disability-awareness training.

Contact details

This service operates between 8am to 10.45pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 10.25pm on Sundays. For more information about availability, you can call the Customer Contact Centre on 0161 200 6011.

You will need to complete a registration first before you book your first journey.

Find the latest information here.

Transport for Sick Children is charity with an incredible team of volunteers who give up their time and use their own cars to take accompanied children to hospital and clinic appointments.

Call: 0161 443  4122

Visit: transportforsickchildren.org

Local Link offers a flexible transport service for local journeys in areas where public transport services are limited. Book a shared minibus to travel anywhere within a Local Link service area.

The service is available to everyone, there are no restrictions and they don’t even have to live in the Local Link service area.

Local Link can take you anywhere within an individual service area, including connecting you to a bus stop, tram stop or train station, within the service area, to continue your journey.

Contact details

New customers will need to register with Local Link before they can use the service. Registering is free and can be done online, or by calling Transport for Greater Manchester on 0161 244 1000.

More information about the service, fares and conditions of carriage can be found here.

Transport services in specific areas

There are other community transport services that may be able to help you.

If you know of a community transport service in your local area that isn’t listed here, please get in touch.

Being There, life limiting illness support

Support for people with life limiting illnesses. Their support is not for emergency or last minute transport and they will need to assess your eligibility.

Call: 0845 123 23 29

Visit: https://beingthere.org.uk/hospital-transport/

British Red Cross Oldham – support with discharge

The Enhanced Patient Discharge Transport Service supports discharge and re-admission avoidance, aiming to reduce delayed discharge and prevent unscheduled readmissions by smoothing the transition from hospital to home for vulnerable patients.

They provide transport home within 1 hour of the hospital.

Email: oldhamdischarge@redcross.org.uk

Stockport Car Scheme

Call: 0161 476 2812

Visit: www.stockportcarscheme.org.uk

 

Marple Christian Care

Call: 0161 449 0829

Visit: Marple Library on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday between 10.00am and 12.30pm and talk to our volunteer at the “Marple Christian Care” desk.

Miles of Smiles

Call: 0161 622 2090

Visit: https://milesofsmileslancashire.com/

Wigan and District Community Transport

Call: 01942 768811

 

Driven

Call: 01942 409 602

Visit: wearedriven.co.uk/

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