Rural Networking Partnership

Transport East is working with the Smart Mobility Unit at the University of Hertfordshire to continue research and work on mobility outside of cities.

Historically research, funding and policy work has focused on urban transport, however there is a strong case for work to now support rural mobility. 

Previous research undertaken by the University of Hertfordshire and partners can be found here. 

The rural networking partnership has been established to continue and develop the contacts and networking from the roundtables. It brings together those working on transport outside cities, and seek to spread information about relevant initiatives and studies. 

Roundtable topics in this series include;  

  • Public Transport in Rural Areas 
  • Mobility Hubs 
  • Travel and Tourism 
  • Future of Transport: Rural Strategy (TBC) 

Royal Geographic Society symposium 

Transport East, the University of Hertfordshire's Smart Mobility Unit (SMU) and the Royal Geographical Society ran a symposium for rural mobility on 27 March 2024.

This symposium featured key themes from previous roundtables and Transport East's call for evidence, looking at future actions in this area. Topics that were covered included:

  • The challenges for rural transport - especially tackling social exclusion and the climate emergency
  • The future of rural public transport
  • Low carbon tourism and leisure
  • New directions in rural transport including mobility hubs and e-bikes.

There were presentations from experts and practitioners in rural mobility, who have led on  projects and initiatives within local and devolved administrations, offering suggestions for future policy in rural mobility.

While much research on transport and mobility is focused on cities, there is a need to look at transport policy and governance options for areas outside and on the edge of city-regions.

These areas account for a lot of private car use and hence surface transport carbon emissions.

The University of Hertfordshire’s Smart Mobility Unit has been developing work in this area including a series of roundtables. It has been working closely with Transport East on rural transport in England and has recently held a call for evidence on rural mobility, the recommendations of which are available here.