Transport & Services

Rural communities need affordable transport solutions that deliver services to places and at times communities need. These solutions are best when they are developed by the community, often in partnership with a range of providers.
Rural areas have experienced an erosion of facilities and services and as such, the need for transport is an inevitable consequence of living in a rural area if people are to access a range of essential services in nearby towns.

There are 4 main transport issues that affect people living in rural communities: access to services, access to training and employment, strategic transport problems and road safety.

People in rural areas travel more miles compared to the population overall. Small communities cannot support the range of jobs and services enjoyed by rural populations and for those without their own transport, the elderly, the young and those with mobility problems, access to services is a real problem. These are often the least able to afford the high costs of transport and research shows, that people on lower incomes pay a higher proportion of their income on transport costs.

To access healthcare, jobs, schools and higher education, rural people have to travel further and spend more of their income on transport. Smaller rural primary schools are under constant threat and their closure can have a significant impact on the local community particularly when they house extended services, local activity and social interaction for parents, and other residents.

Rural pubs, shops and garages also face considerable challenges and loss of these vital services can mean a real difference between being able to stay in a village or having to move to a town.

Our national body, Action With Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has produced a Policy Paper on Transport which sets out what we see as the key concerns with rural transport and some of the policies and actions that can be taken to tackle the problems. You can download the paper using the link below.

Related stories

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee needs your views on future flood prevention in England following severe flooding this winter. The Committee are inviting you to send in your views about the latest developments on future flood prevention in England following severe flooding this winter. The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is Tuesday 15 March 2016.

Case Study: Burton in Lonsdale Community Resilience Plan
Project: Craven Winter Weather
March 2015
Rural Action Yorkshire

Knowing what to do when an emergency strikes can be a vital asset for any community, and when your location is rural or isolated, and you are further away from immediate help, having a plan in place can have significant benefits.

The Rural Services Network, a coalition of 260 member organisations, has published a comprehensive Manifesto for Rural England, calling on the next Government to take on a programme of action which would address the needs of rural communities across all departments and not leave it to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alone.

A new scheme in the Nidderdale area of North Yorkshire is offering local people the chance to stay mobile in the face of poor health, lack of access to public transport or other mobility problems. And now new Government funding is being made available for other Community Transport projects in rural areas to acquire a new minibus that could help them provide services to more people.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) have launched a public consultation on the future of the public libraries service across the county in light of news that a further £1.6m needs to be cut from the libraries budget by 2019. Proposals will see just one fully staffed library in each district, supplemented by a network of "hybrid" and community libraries staffed by volunteers.

A new Government campaign is aiming to make drivers more aware of the dangers of rural roads, using the startling fact that nearly eleven times as many people die on country roads than on motorways and that despite carrying a minority of the total miles travelled on British roads, rural roads account for 60% of total fatalities on the road network. The Think! road safety campaign has been welcomed by local authorities, police and others who deal with road safety in our region.

Health authorities in the Whitby area have put forward a number of options for the future of Whitby Hospital, which serves the populations of large parts of rural North Yorkshire. They are seeking the views of local people as to which option should be taken forward in a series of consultation events over the coming weeks. The plans will affect not just the buildings on the hospital site but also the future delivery of community health services and out-of-hours care.

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee has published a new report which calls on the Government and local authorities to do more to address the transport problems faced by those living in isolated communities, including more support for traditional public transport services as well as the exploration of new ways of providing transport. It also describes as "unrealistic" government expectations that volunteer-led community transport can fill gaps in public transport provision.

Over the past few months Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) has been developing a Rural Strategy to review the state of rural Yorkshire, highlight potential opportunities and challenges and suggest priority areas for future activity, both for us and for other organisations working in rural Yorkshire. We have been working in partnership with Humber and Wolds RCC to ensure we are able to present issues and ideas that have resonance across the whole of Yorkshire.

A newly-married North Yorkshire pub landlord and landlady have shunned the usual wedding gifts in favour of something to save lives in their local community – a defibrillator.

Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council (HWRCC) with East Riding and Hull CT Operators, invite you to the Community Transport Association (CTA) Roadshow 2014, Yorkshire and Humber.

The CTA Annual Roadshow takes place across England every spring, providing CTA members and non-members with an opportunity to engage with the leadership, to look at the big issues in community transport and how we are all responding. It’s also a chance for you to network with each other and meet other organisations with whom CTA works closely, including corporate supporters.

A new project aiming to provide community access defibrillators in remote rural locations has been launched across Hambleton, Richmondshire and the Eskdale area of the North York Moors. Funding from the local Clinical Commissioning Group has been provided, and further funding is being sought from local sources. Members of the public are being invited to submit their ideas about where the units should be sited and to volunteer to look after the units.

Involve Yorkshire and Humber have just released their Rural lifeline: Revisited report. This report is an update on the review of rural poverty in Yorkshire and how the Community and Voluntary sector (CVS) deals with the poverty conducted in 2011.

RAY's parent organisation, ACRE, have signed a joint letter to the Chancellor George Osborne asking him to review bus funding. ACRE is one of 25 national organisations doing this hoping that Mr Osborne will provide the long term support for these essential services.

Would you like to help RAY plan our future work? Do you know lots about your community building, the needs of your residents or just enjoy thinking through new solutions for rural issues? Then we would love to hear from you.

The Government has announced £20m of funding for protecting rural post offices where they are the only remaining shop or service in a village or isolated location. Campaigners broadly welcomed the news, but there are concerns that a significant number of post offices will still be vulnerable to closure.

The Rural Services Network has published its fourth annual report on the State of Rural Public Services, concentrating on healthcare, post offices and public transport. The document aims to inform and stimulate policy debate about rural service provision, and to share ideas among local policy practitioners.

Bradford Metropolitan District Council is seeking the views of local residents, community groups and businesses on proposals for its Budget for the next two financial years. Initial comments are sought now and further consultations will take place as the proposed Budget takes shape in greater detail.

The Government has published its response to a parliamentary report that criticised its treatment of rural areas. The Government claims that the statistics used in the report were misleading. The Government response has disappointed rural campaigners, including Rural Action Yorkshire's umbrella organisation, ACRE.

Doncaster Council has published its proposed budget for 2014 to 2017 and is asking residents, local businesses and other interested parties to comment on the proposals. The deadline for comments is Friday 15 November 2013.

File ACRE Transport Policy Paper 2014.pdf504.41 KB