Postponement of the 24/02/2020 West Midlands Regional Seminar

Taking into account the current weather & flooding situation across the country we have decided to postpone the West Midlands Regional Seminar which was supposed to take place this upcoming Monday, 24th of February 2020 at Stafford Borough Council.
Read more here...

Spotlight on the Yorkshire Seminar - Connectivity and Rural Transport

In January we hosted the regional seminar for the Yorkshire and Humber region, postponed due to the election in December 2019

We hold these events as we recognise that not all of our members can travel to the London meetings due to resources or travel costs and so each year, we host a regional seminar/networking event in each region of England.

This event in January was kindly hosted by North Yorkshire County Council and focused on Connectivity and Rural Transport.  Rather than produce lengthy minutes of discussions, we are trialling a new approach where we publish 3 examples of Good Practice, 5 Learning Points from the discussions and any other key points to note.  We hope that these concise notes will be of use to those that attended, and those that were unable to attend!

Speakers included:

Dr Gary Bosworth (University of Lincoln)
“The Future of Rural Mobility: Introducing our New Toolkit”
- Download the presentation here

Colin Walker (East Riding of Yorkshire Council)
“Rural Transport: The Access and Connectivity Conundrum”
- Download the presentation here

Martin Higgitt (Martin Higgitt Associates Ltd)
“Issues and Solutions for Rural Connectivity and Transport”
- Download the presentation here

Ian Fielding (North Yorkshire County Council)
“Making it Real – Transport in England’s Largest County”
- Download the presentation here

3 Examples of Good Practice discussed during the event with weblinks:
  • Rural transport hub model, enabling a range of mobility innovations providing a focus for car-sharing, e-vehicle charging, rural deliveries, “last-mile” transit technologies, business workspaces, learning lounges and other social functions. Based on the Mobi-hubs model: https://mobihubs.eu/
  • North Yorkshire’s ‘Little White Bus’ is highly regarded. Operating with support from North Yorkshire County Council, this community transport service operates several routes in rural parts of the county.
  • The Bridges Community Car scheme in Monmouthshire provides door-to-door transport for people who require additional support getting to local shops, social activities or appointments. befriendingmonmouthshire.org.uk
5 key learning points from the discussions
  • Business & economy issues cannot be separated out from social & community issues. They are all inter-connected and transport/connectivity impacts on all areas of life in rural areas.
  • There are no ‘magic bullets’ which will solve rural transport issues and needs. A variety of solutions are required. This includes reducing the need to travel and helping communities to help themselves.
  • Public Service Vehicle Access Requirements (PSVAR) now means that vehicles which are unable to accommodate wheelchairs are not compliant and, hence, cannot take fares. One impact is that all the spare seats previously available to local people on school and other services are no longer able to be sold.
  • Planning and central government regulations need to support the drive to improve connectivity. Often, development proceeds where it simply adds to rural transport problems. For example, there is a lack of connectivity between different modes of transport which could be improved through appropriate controls.
  • Bundling of demand for transport could assist in making services viable.
Any other key outcomes from the day for noting:

Many models are required to solve rural transport issues. These include:

  • Limited opportunity for modal shift /new service development – must innovate to maintain.
  • Demand Responsive services not always the answer – can be more expensive than traditional local bus.
  • Overlay a range of options where feasible.
  • Engage positively but realistically with communities.
  • Support and facilitate community (based) transport development.
  • Make the case for the bus as an essential service.

Click here to see the schedule of seminars for 2020.

For more information email events@sparse.gov.uk

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