The decline in rural bus services and the closure of local services has lead to increased isolation for rural residents. For 1in 5 living in rural England there is little choice but to own a car − even for those on lower incomes, car ownership becomes a high priority.
This film is the result of a visit to rural Lincolnshire in February 2009, by Dr. Stuart Burgess Chairman of the CRC and the Governments Rural Advocate.
The schemes in the film are: InterConnect, an interurban public bus service supported by demand responsive transport known as CallConnect, a community rail partnership The Poacher Line. Supporting this is widespread provision of self sustaining voluntary car schemes and dial a ride and community transport.
CallConnect is available for everyone; 10-15% of its users are daily commuters. It picks up and drops off those who are less mobile or live in a remote area from their front door. Using the latest technology, journeys are planned and vehicles loaded efficiently, as well as tracking the vehicles movements.
The CRC is calling for other local authorities to consider how these schemes could be mirrored in their locality, similar to the recent creation of another CallConnect route in rural Northamptonshire.
The provision of efficient and effective integrated transport systems can make a significant difference to those who live and work in rural England; enhancing access to job opportunities, education and health services. We are pleased to have the opportunity to endorse this example of good practice and would encourage other local authorities to develop their own models.
Sarah McAdam, Chief Executive, Commission for Rural Communities
The County Council is pleased to receive this affirmation of its investment in public transport. We are proud of our achievements and will continue striving to improve transport in Lincolnshire. The comments made by the CRC are welcomed and we agree that we have developed innovative schemes that are examples of best practice.
Cllr William Webb, Executive Member for Transport & Highways, Lincolnshire County Council
The Commission for Rural Communities acts as the advocate for Englands rural communities, as an expert adviser to government, and as a watchdog to ensure that government actions, policies and programmes recognise and respond effectively to rural needs, with a particular focus on disadvantage.
It has three key functions:
the voice for rural people, businesses and communities
giving evidence-based, objective advice to government and others
monitoring, reporting on and seeking to mainstream rural into the delivery of policies nationally, regionally and locally.