re-blue-large A service provided by Rural England CIC in association with Calor and the Rural Services Network

transport button - sorsLaunched at the House of Commons in January 2017, the State of Rural Services 2016 Report, not surprisingly, concludes that public and private sector service provision is reducing in rural areas – broadly due to a combination of austerity and competitive pressures. Community action has increased and plays a growing role but the ever-ageing nature of the rural population will, the report points out, continue to pile on additional pressures. This is especially the case in relation to transport.

The report, an objective assessment of existing research and available national data sources, points to 2 services currently at particular risk of cutbacks – local buses and bank branches. The loss of bus services, of course, affects access to a whole range of other services. Nationally, 49% of households in smaller rural settlements (villages) have access to a regular bus service – which means 51% do not. In 2015/16 (alone) the report identifies that 124 bus services were withdrawn and 248 reduced / altered. The largest cuts were to subsidised services in shire areas.

For younger people, only half of rural users can get to a FE College by public transport or walking in a 'reasonable travel time' (as defined by the Department for Transport) and just 39% of rural users can get to a school sixth form by public transport or walking in a 'reasonable travel time' (and that transport may be infrequent).

Physical outlets for a wide range of services are declining, Take-up of online service provision, of course, is identified as growing and with real scope to impact positively on service accessibility – but there are clear issues associated with those not online or with poor broadband speeds. In addition, the report raises the question as to whether the growth of online services is contributing to the reduction in physical service outlets, further marginalising those who struggle to access online services and those with access to transport provision.

You can read more detail on this report here.

Transport Toolkit

Transport Toolkit

Produced by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, this toolkit aims to improve local transport choices - especially in rural areas.


In The Community

Calor has a long history of supporting not only the local areas in which it works, but also the rural communities it serves.

Rural Minibus

Community Transport

Help address your community's rural transport needs using this topic sheet from ACRE and the Community Transport Association.

Commission for Rural Communities

Transport Archive

Archived documents relating to rural transport issues from the former Commission for Rural Communities.

Transport Map

Local Transport Plans

Your council publishes a local transport plan to maintain and improve transport in your area.

DEFRA sign

Rural Accessibility

Accessing key services by public transport is important in terms of social inclusion as well as service delivery, says DEFRA.


Rural Vulnerability Service
Sponsored by Calor, the Rural Vulnerability Service is a information service brought to you by Rural England CIC in association with the Rural Services Network.


Calor was set up 75 years ago with the intention of bringing clean, efficient and modern energy to rural Britain. This focus continues today with 75 per cent of Calor's business in the British countryside.


Calor supports efforts to tackle climate change and fuel poverty. As an energy provider, it wants rural communities to have a strong voice in the energy efficiency debate – and the same opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs as exists in urban on-grid areas.


For details about Calor's work with rural communities, click here.

Inside Government

Reports & Publications
For reports & publications on transport, please click here.

OFS Statistics

Transport Statistics
For UK National Statistics on travel and transport, please click here.
More Information

For full details about our Rural Vulnerability Service, contact:

David Inman
Rural Services Network
Kilworthy Park
PL19 0BZ

T: 01822 851370
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


First Group

Our Transport Partner
The transport partner for the Rural Services Network is FirstGroup plc