Community transport an ‘inadequate con trick’

25 July 2014

‘Even the Campaign for Transport’s assessment that community transport can fill between 10% and 15% of former supported transport provision is optimistic,’ Mick says.

‘It astonishes me that the Department can give it the credence it does. Honest people pay taxes for the provision of essential services like transport. It is ludicrous that the DfT expects isolated communities to accept a Do-It-Yourself approach.’

Mick was reacting to the 'Passenger transport in isolated communities' report from the House of Commons Transport Select Committee which calls for ‘strategic leadership in driving joined-up policy making to allow people who live in isolated communities fully to participate in society’.

‘Transport poverty is an issue we must face up to, and pay up for,’ Mick says. ‘We waste the talents of many people simply because of where they live –and the report stresses that there are isolated communities in urban as well as rural areas. It is wrong to deny anyone access to adequate employment,education, training and healthcare. And we also make it difficult to attract employment, like tourism, if there are poor public transport links.’

The Select Committee Report adds that ‘older people, younger people,unemployed people, people on low incomes and disabled people who live in isolated communities are disproportionately affected by inadequate or reduced services.’

The report recommends

  • the creation of a new definition of ‘isolated communities,’ to include urban and suburban areas, for use across central and local government
  • an acceptance that central government and local authorities are being unrealistic if they expect voluntary community transport projects to compensate for decreased bus services.
  • beginning a large-scale pilot to test the concept of ‘total transport’ which would involve transport resources to deliver a range of services.
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