William Eichler 03 May 2019

No such thing as a ‘rural transport problem’, report concludes

No such thing as a ‘rural transport problem’, report concludes image

It is ‘very easy’ to provide high quality public transport to rural communities, a new study comparing approaches to transport in Britain, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland has concluded.

The study, commissioned by the Foundation for Integrated Transport, found that Shropshire has far fewer bus services connecting its towns and villages with each other, with larger centres and with trains than in comparable areas of Europe.

Entitled Shropshire Rural Buses, the report shows that while in Shropshire buses do not connect with trains, in comparable areas in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland small towns and villages have bus links with train stations.

Buses often stop running in the early evening and do not run on Sundays and bank holidays in Shropshire. However, in small towns in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, buses often start at 6am and run through until 10pm and run seven days a week.

The report, which involved contacting over 150 town and parish councils in Shropshire, also found that buses are more frequent in these three countries than they are in Shropshire and they travel at times that are more convenient for the average working day.

The report concludes that there is no such thing as a ‘rural transport problem’.

‘This report is asking for changes in the way that all politicians and decision-takers think about buses,’ said the study’s author Professor John Whitelegg, a visiting professor at the School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University.

‘Currently in Shropshire buses are a low priority for the council and subject to large budget cuts. We can do so much better than the current disorganised and un-coordinated arrangement.

‘Establishing a regional and sub-regional co-ordinated model of integrated rural transport is the first step. After that we need to address funding but changing the way we do things is more important than more funding.

‘Rural residents in Shropshire and in every other English shire deserve a much better bus service than the one currently on offer and the time is now right to embark on the upgrade.’

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey image

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - LD & Autism

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Senior Social Worker / Senior Occupational Therapist/ Senior Practitioner With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to s England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free On-Site Parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanentFull Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities

Essex County Council
Social Worker - Children with DisabilitiesPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Manager (South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre)

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,944 per annum, rising to £25,284
South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre is one of Chelmsford City Council's excellent leisure facilities which offers a variety of sporting activities... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Director - Inclusion

Suffolk County Council
£75,745 - £93,245 pa
We are seeking a highly skilled Assistant Director Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County 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