Last month the government announced the winners of the Total Transport Pilot Fund which aims to enable local authorities to try new innovative ways to deliver effective and efficient public transport services to rural and isolated areas which are often neglected.
A total of £7.6 million from the Department for Transport funding will be distributed throughout 37 schemes planning to improve rural public transportation. Currently around £2 billion is budgeted for local transportation from a variety of agencies but this funding is often not coordinated and used at local level eventually causing waste in public money. This scheme looks to combat that.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“Good transport is the lifeblood of local communities and we must ensure every penny spent is being used effectively. This is about improving access to the services people rely on most, from getting to school, to the shops or the local hospital. It is part of our long term economic plan to improve the lives of hard working people up and down the country.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:
“As someone from a rural area, I know the vital importance of well-functioning public transport in helping people get around their local community, whether to do business, go to school or meet friends and family.
That’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide £7.6 million to ensure that people living in rural and isolated communities will be able to benefit from integrated public transport, meaning that local authorities will work with schools, hospitals and other local organisations to deliver local services more efficiently, meaning that they will be able to offer people across the country better transport services while saving the taxpayer money.”
Each project will run for a maximum of 2 years and at the end will submit a report on the results to the Department for Transport. This will provide clear evidence on how the issue of rural public transportation could be solved through service integration.
More information can be found here: