Chris Ames 13 June 2019

Bus users outline plan to reverse rural decline

Bus users outline plan to reverse rural decline image

A group representing bus users across the UK has published a 10-point plan to reverse the decline in rural services.

Bus Users UK said ‘changing lifestyles, flexible working, funding cuts and the regulatory environment are forcing rural bus services into decline’.

It added that over the past two decades rural bus services have experienced a ‘perfect storm’ of rising operational costs, increasing regulation, particularly for community transport providers, funding cuts from local authorities, and a lack of competition to run services.

Its report, Rural buses: reversing the decline, examines the reasons behind the fall in rural bus services and looks at the costs ‘in terms of rising inequality, social isolation and deprivation’.

Chief executive Claire Walters said: ‘Creative and innovative solutions to the rural transport crisis are urgently needed, but will only be possible with reform of the bodies and the regulatory environment that govern it.

‘Access to affordable and reliable transport in rural areas doesn’t just improve the lives of the people it serves: it has wider social, environmental and economic advantages that benefit us all.’

The report sets out a 10-point plan which the group said aims to regenerate the industry and ensure that rural transport meets the needs of local communities.

It calls for reform of the Traffic Commissioners to have regard for the interests of bus users, modernisation of the role of the DVSA, for local authorities to take a more consumer-led approach to transport, and for local partnership working to be a requirement between local authorities and bus operators.

It also calls for a trial for new models of rural bus provision built on community interest or co-operative principles.

This article first appeared on Transport Network.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue