Affordable transport solutions for rural communities have never been more essential. Rural areas have experienced a considerable reduction in facilities, such as hospitals, health centres, post offices and libraries, due to cuts in funding and an agenda to centralise services.
With ongoing cuts to local bus services, people are forced to increasingly rely on alternative transport solutions - often car-based.
For those lacking their own transport, including the young, the elderly, and those with mobility issues, access to services and facilities is a very real challenge. These are often the least able to afford high costs of public transport and research shows that, on average, people on lower incomes in rural areas pay a higher proportion of their income on travel costs.
There is a very clear need to develop and improve both public and community transport schemes; ACRE believes this should be the focus for long-term, sustainable travel solutions.
The ACRE Network and local transport providers have worked in partnership for many years to develop tried and tested solutions for individual communities, including demand responsive buses, community mini-buses, car-based taxis, ‘good neighbour’ schemes and even community rail partnerships.
ACRE members across the country work with Rural Transport Partnerships, where they exist, and where they don’t; they take on the challenge of working with other stakeholders to maintain the focus on rural transport needs and solutions.
Read our Transport Policy Position Paper.