Community transport schemes provide a responsive transport service for a wide range of people and communities – often the most vulnerable. They are operated by not-for-profit organisations and harness the experience and energy of volunteers who give freely of their time to help others. Community transport has the potential particularly to meet local needs in areas where conventional commercial operations are not viable. Find out why community transport is so important, download the ACRE Community Transport Topic Sheet.
Volunteer Action Community Transport A5 leaflet 4pp [added 29/1/14]
Do you want to set up a community transport scheme?
Are you keen to help your rural community combat isolation and enable access to essential services? Would you like to promote the use of community transport schemes or are you interested in setting one up yourself? If so, please contact us for further information and help, but the following may be of interest:
Community Transport Association provides innovative and flexible transport solutions for communities who offer or are looking to set up voluntary transport services. They offer a wide range of direct support services to their members and are recognised by government as one of the main voices of the voluntary and community transport sector in the UK. Registering with them gives access to a wide range of information, leaflets and an advice line.
Hantsweb Transport Self-help toolkit. This Self-help Kit is designed to help organisations to design, commission and provide transport services which meet the needs of their local community. Although it has been written for Hampshire, the information it provides is relevant to most community areas and is worth checking out. It has sections on:
Establishing transport needs in your community – guidance on how to gather information on transport currently operating in your area, identify areas where there is no transport and how to consult your community on what they need.
Choosing the right transport solution – setting up a range of different transport options including car schemes or minibus services.
Information and advice for running your scheme – this section is about designing, marketing, funding, procurement and legal arrangements that need to be considered.
The 2012 version of the Directory of Northamptonshire Community and Voluntary Transport Providers is available from Northamptonshire ACRE. This directory has details of all the voluntary and community transport providers across the county including their contact details and costs and is helpful if you would like to talk to someone about what is involved in setting up a voluntary transport scheme. Download a copy of the 2012 Directory of community & voluntary transport providers.
High Speed Rail: HS2
As you are probably aware, in January 2012, the government announced its decision to proceed with the development of the London to West Midlands high speed rail route. This decision followed a public consultation on the national HS2 strategy which ran from February to July 2011. Construction is expected to begin around 2017 although the government has to obtain the necessary legal powers to build and operate the railway through legislation prior to this date.
HS2 Ltd is the organisation that is developing and promoting the project and is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport. DfT has set up 25 community forums along the proposed London to West Midlands route, of which part goes through South Northants as can be seen in this Community Forum map. These 25 forums are a way for HS2 Ltd to work closely with the communities along the route. The forums are not public meetings, but are meant to be a way for local community representatives to find out more about and discuss HS2 Ltd’s proposals. They will be community led and will meet regularly to:
- discuss potential ways to avoid and mitigate the environmental impacts of the route, such as screening views of the railway, managing noise and reinstating highways
- highlight local priorities for the route design
- identify possible community benefits
Two of the forums are in Northamptonshire: Newton Purcell to Brackley, Greatworth to Lower Boddington and Northamptonshire ACRE are involved with these. If you would like to find out more about the community forums, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01604 765888. The minutes from previous Newton Purcell to Brackley forums are available here while the Greatworth to Lower Boddington forum details can be accessed here.