Minibus Policy, Practice and Procedures
Do you drive, or want to drive a Council minibus? Please read the information below about the recent changes to Council policy affecting minibus hire.
Grampian Regional Council Minibus Driver Permits ceased to be valid on 1st October 2009. Please see the information below on how to apply for a new permit.
Aberdeenshire Council Minibus Driver Permit
To gain a permit you must first pass CTA MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) and forward your certificate with an Approved Driver Registration Form (pdf 29 kb), and a copy of your driving licence (both parts) to the Integrated Transport Team. Unfortunately we cannot accept an application from someone who has 9 points or more on their license.
If you possess a PCV licence you may apply to drive non accessible buses without a MiDAS certificate.
Please note that we cannot accept an application for a minibus permit from anyone who has any medical conditions which affects their ability to drive (eg some forms of diabetes). If you are in any doubt as to whether a medical condition will affect your ability to drive please contact us, or check the Department for Transport's Standards of Fitness to Drive webpage for further information. Please note that if you develop a medical condition which affects your ability to drive while you hold a permit you must notify us of the condition and, if necessary, return the permit.
What do I do next?
You should apply direct to a MiDAS training centre to book a course.
Aberdeenshire Council has linked up with Local Community Groups who provide MiDAS training for both individuals and groups. They are:
- Banffshire Partnership Ltd , The Old School, Boyndie, Tel 01261 843598
- Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus, Unit 7 & 8 Community Service Centre, Maud, Tel 01771 619191
- Mearns Community Transport, 8 High Street, Laurencekirk, AB30 1AE, tel 01561 377000
- NETT (North East Transport Training), phone 07818 448664
Upon passing the MiDAS course, send copies of your pass certificate and driving licence (both parts if a two part licence) together with an Approved Drivers Registration Form (pdf 29 kb) to the address in the contact us section.
Accessible or Non-Accessible Minibuses?
There are different MiDAS courses for wheelchair-accessible and non-accessible vehicles. If you choose to complete the non-accessible course you will not be permitted to drive an accessible vehicle. If you choose to complete the accessible course you may drive both types of vehicle as required.
You should not under any circumstances drive a council minibus or any minibus insured by the council before receiving your permit or letter of authorisation from the Integrated Transport Team.
If you wish to use an Aberdeenshire Council minibus for training please contact the Integrated Transport Team.
For all Council minibuses there is a 60 miles per hour speed limit on motorways and dual carriageway, and a 50 miles per hour speed limit on unrestricted roads.
For further advice and assistance on how to apply for a new driver permit, or any other queries regarding MiDAS training and assessments please browse the Frequently Asked Questions below, or contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is MiDAS?
A: See the information on MiDAS on the Community Transport Association website
Q: How much does MiDAS training cost?
A: The fee is approximately £85 per person for an accessible vehicle course. This is payable by the organisation you are driving on behalf of, direct to the training establishment. Your chosen training provider will provide you with their current prices and group discount availability.
Q: What does the course involve?
A: The MiDAS course is there to enhance your driving abilities and the training organisation is there to help you do that. The course includes basic defensive driving and legal aspects of driving a minibus. If you undertake the accessible vehicle course then safe use of wheelchair accessible minibuses is also included.
Q: How long does the certificate last?
A: 4 Years, then refresher MiDAS training must be carried out. Your council minibus permit will also expire at this time.
Q: Where can MiDAS training be undertaken
A: Aberdeenshire Council is working with 3 Local Community Groups, who provide training:
- Banffshire Partnership Ltd, The Old School, Boyndie, Tel: 01261 8435
- Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus, Deer Road, Maud, Tel: 01771 619191
Q: How long does the training take?
A: MiDAS comprises both theory and practical training. The theory training is approximately 8 hours, usually undertaken in a one day session. The practical driving assessment takes around 1.5 hours. For further information on timescales for training contact your chosen provider.
Q: Is it possible to fail the training?
A: MiDAS aims to enhance your driving abilities and the training organisation is there to help you with that, however, if you have difficulty with the training then you should discuss the situation and the options for further training with the trainer and with your line manager/organisation.
Q: What happens if I have an old Council Minibus Permit?
A: Old style permits expired on 1st October 2009. Anyone who wishes to drive a Council minibus after this date must have a new permit, which will only be issued after successful completion of MiDAS training and assessment (or if you have a PCV licence and only intend to drive non wheelchair-accessible vehicles).
Q: I've passed MiDAS, how do I get a permit?
A: Return the completed Approved Minibus Drivers Registration Form together with a copy of your MiDAS certificate and driver’s licence to: PTU, Woodhill House, Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
Integrated Transport Team
Passenger Transport Unit
Tel: 01224 665197