At our CTA Edinburgh Conference last week James spoke about the importance of putting community transport at the heart of Scotland’s National Transport Strategy. In our latest blog James talks about how community transport operators can get involved in this work.
As a sector we have made a choice. We have decided that nobody in our communities should be unable to get to where they need to be due to their age, disability, or rural location. 365 days of the year, including Christmas Day, community transport provides trips to medical appointments, school, places of work, and social occasions.
Community transport often works where it would be unviable for the commercial network to do so. This means as a sector we have had to innovate, providing extra services, and a social value that goes beyond an economic benefit stated in a contract.
This year Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, announced a full review of the National Transport Strategy to commence in 2017. This strategy sets out to achieve three strategic outcomes. These are:
- Improved journey times and connections between our cities and towns and our global markets to tackle congestion and lack of integration and connections in transport
- Reduced emissions to tackle climate change, air quality, health improvement
- Improved quality, accessibility and affordability of transport, to give choice of public transport, better quality services and value for money, or alternative to car
We believe the community transport sector not only has an important role to play in delivering any successful national transport strategy but we also believe there is a lot the wider transport sector can learn from the work we do.
In looking at these three aims we know community transport is helping achieve these already. Whether that is through providing demand responsive transport which gets people to the next leg of their journey, providing connections between towns and cities. Providing communal transport where otherwise only car travel would be possible. Or, providing an inclusive and accessible transport option that provides a service to those who are unable access mainstream services.
Over the coming months we will be formulating our response and looking at how we can put community transport at the heart of Scotland’s National Transport Strategy. As ultimately, we believe that a transport system is successful where it is community led, accessible and inclusive, and properly integrated with major infrastructure and other modes of transport.
You can find out more about the National Transport Strategy here
If you would like to discuss some ideas and be involved in putting together our response to the National Transport Strategy you can contact me at James@ctauk.org, and we’ll discuss how you can get involved.