Driving the LCV minibus
On this page:
LCV has a legal and moral obligation to do our
best to carry our volunteers safely.
We operate a Fiat Ducato 13-seat
minibus. We have made some modifications to the minibus to make it
more suitable for conservation volunteering.
- Fitted waterproof seat covers to the front row of seats.
Although the seats are made of tough fabric, we need to keep mud and water
out of them for as long as possible.
Fitted a large tool cage with removable shelves behind
the back seats. These provide safe storage space for the tools that we
take on task.
The laws that surround the use and management of a
minibus are complicated. We have talked to our local community transport
associations, and have put together the following information based on their
Small print: this information is distilled
from our recent MiDAS course, and various books by the Community Transport
Association. If you run a minibus, you should consult them for advice. You
use the information contained here at your own risk!
Practical information for drivers
Our minibus should have in it everything you need
when you are driving it.
The first place to look for advice is the
Driver's Pack, which contains the following:
- Minibus fact sheet
- Fault reporting form
Recovery and rescue information
- Road atlas
- MiDAS booklet
Elsewhere in the minibus you will find:
- fire extinguisher (next to handbrake)
first aid kit (under the first row of
- jack and wheel brace (under driver's seat)
- reflective vests
- tyre pressure gauge (in glove box)
- the heated front windscreen if the van is
full of wet volunteers.
- that the mirrors will de-mist themselves
if you turn on the rear-screen demister.
- the small windows at the very back that
allow a through-flow of ventilation.
Legal information for drivers
A more detailed list of the legal requirements
that affect you as a driver can be found on pages 39 - 56 of the MiDAS
Minibus Driver's Handbook.
- You can drive our minibus in a
bus lane unless the word local appears in the bus symbol.
Doors and windows
- All doors must be
unlocked when there are passengers inside the vehicle. You must be able to
see clearly through all windows, so don't let them get steamed up.
- There must be a clear gangway for
each passenger to two exits.
- Seatbelts must be worn by all
passengers in every seat in our minibus.
In some cases these are different to the speed limit for a car. Where there are no signs
setting a lower limit, the speed limits for minibuses are:
- 30 mph in built-up areas
- 50 mph on roads subject to the National Speed Limit
- 60 mph on dual carriageways
- 70 mph on motorways
The van has a speed limiter fitted.
- As a driver you are at
all times responsible for the condition of the vehicle that you are
driving. The driver must check, and be satisfied with, the state of the
headlights, tyres, steering, brakes, fire extinguisher and first aid kit
before using the minibus. This responsibility cannot be passed
on to LCV.
Policies and procedures
Our minibus policies and procedures represent our
understanding of best practice for running our vehicle.
It is LCV policy that...
- Everyone travelling in our minibus must wear a seatbelt.
- All tools must be carried inside the tool cages.
- All exits must be kept clear.
- The driver chooses whether, and what, to play on the radio.
- The driver must not work so hard on task that it is likely to
affect their ability to drive safely afterwards.
- The driver should record each use of the minibus on a log
- The driver should carry out an inspection of the minibus
before taking volunteers in it, and the inspection should be
recorded on a log sheet.
- Children under 14 do not travel in the minibus.
- The breakdown service be used to change a flat tyre on the
- The driver will check the minibus
before each use and record the results of the check on a log sheet
from the Driver's Pack. For convenience we also
provide download links for the log sheet and driver form.
- The driver will report any defects
with the minibus to the
Minibus manager using the fault reporting form from the Driver's Pack.
The LCV Van Manager will arrange for the fault to be fixed and
will record this on the fault reporting form.
- The LCV Van Manager will arrange for the
minibus to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's
recommendations, and will record details of the servicing.
- All drivers will have a
familiarisation session before taking volunteers in the minibus
for the first time. The LCV Van Manager will keep a record of this
- The LCV Van Manager will keep a
record of the licence details of all drivers. Drivers will tell
the LCV Van Manager if any details of their licence change.
Driving your own vehicle on LCV business
If you will be using your own car to join LCV on a
task or for some other LCV related activity you should
check that you have appropriate insurance coverage with
your insurer. Some insurers consider unpaid work to be