Priorities: Community Transport

To increase the use of community transport in Ryedale

Conventional public transport services provide a vital link for rural residents to key services such as healthcare, shops, further education, employment and training opportunities. Commercial bus operators run some excellent services along many of our main transport ‘corridors’ that link our larger market towns. However, many rural communities have no public transport service at all, whilst others have the once a week ‘market day wonder’, leaving some rural residents without access to private transport isolated within their own community.

But what happens to those who are left at home while the only car is used to get one family member to work? And what happens to older rural residents who are no longer able to drive? How do families afford to run two cars to meet all their access needs?

Lack of transport may reduce access for people to social networks and leisure facilities, as well as the key services and opportunities, resulting in a diminution in the quality of life for that individual. In order to work effectively, community transport must be seen as an integral part of the transport mix:

  • Social car schemes
  • Wheels to Work (moped loan) schemes
  • ‘Minibus brokerages’ (for group hire)
  • Dial-a-Ride (Section 19 ‘small bus’ permit) services
  • Community buses
All have an important role to play in the provision of a wide range of appropriate services that give the flexibility of mode, time and route that is so essential in rural areas where conventional public transport economics don’t apply. Community transport can, if deployed appropriately, support and sustain bus services that would otherwise be on the margins of viability, making that vital link to the nearest market town, bus or railway station. It can also support local economic benefit providing additional customers and greater viability for local services such as a small local cinema, further education classes, youth club or leisure centre in a small market town.

Objectives

  • To increase the number of passengers carried on community transport by 2010
  • To increase the number of residents who feel well informed about transport provision in their community
  • To increase the numbers of people who carry out voluntary work in Ryedale
Action plans for Obesity, Basic Skills, Community Transport, and Community Engagement (PDF,35k)

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