Transport East makes the case to government for better rural transport services

Using new technologies to improve rural transport and improved connections for our villages, lies at the heart of our plea to the Department for Transport (DfT). Our response to the DfT’s Future of Transport: rural strategy¬†call for evidence also makes the case for a more local approach to managing services.

The current transport appraisal process underestimates the benefits of rural services and is not flexible enough to account for the diversity of rural communities. Services should also be better designed to the needs of customers.

Less than half of the rural population in the East of England can access a town centre within 30 minutes by public transport. This mean more car travel, resulting in higher carbon emissions per journey.

Across the region 12% of rural households do not have access to a car/van compared with 23% of urban households. Local authorities have fought to maintain rural bus connections with decreasing levels of funding from central government. Stable investment in public transport provision would help reach net zero carbon goals, while supporting people to reach employment, education and essential services.

We also led the consultation response from all seven sub-national transport bodies (STBs) in England. Poor rural connections are a challenge across the country. The STBs are working closely to improve transport services for rural communities which can be tailored to meet local needs and changing transport demands. They are offering to work with government on structural changes and funding options to create the conditions that support rural transport innovations.