Passenger Transport in Isolated Communities
The Transport Select Committee has published the report of its inquiry into passenger transport in isolated communities in England. This inquiry examined the extent to which the needs of different groups of passengers are taken into account and the challenges associated with providing better services and highlights that isolated communities exist in urban and suburban areas as well as rural areas and recommends that DfT drafts a definition of ‘isolated communities’ for use across central and local government, which should be used to target scarce resources.
The report also discusses the concept of ‘total transport’ which involves pooling transport resources to deliver a range of services, for example, combining hospital transport with local bus services. The Committee recommend that DfT initiates a large-scale pilot to test the concept in practice.
The report highlighted those sections of society which most rely on public transport. These include:
- older people, particularly those who are unable to drive.
- younger people who make significantly fewer car journeys than in the past – in the mid-1990s, the average young person took almost 600 car journeys each year, that figure reduced to 377 trips in 2011.
- unemployed people, who rely on passenger transport both to sign on at a jobcentre and to look for work.
- people on low incomes – people in the lowest income quintile make three times more journeys by bus than people in the highest income quintile.
- Disabled people, who use buses about 20% more frequently than the non-disabled population
The full report can be read here.