Today, the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council, is launching a short film demonstrating how transport schemes can be integrated and sustainable in rural areas. This film is the result of a visit to rural Lincolnshire in February 2009, by Dr. Stuart Burgess Chairman of the CRC and the Governments Rural Advocate.
The schemes which Lincolnshire County Council has in place, and which are showcased in the film are: InterConnect, an interurban public bus service supported by a demand responsive transport scheme known as CallConnect, a community rail partnership marketed as The Poacher Line, and supporting these initiatives is widespread provision of self sustaining voluntary car schemes and dial a ride and community transport.
The CRC is calling for other local authorities to consider how these schemes could be mirrored in their locality, similar to the recent creation of another CallConnect route in rural Northamptonshire.
CallConnect is available for everyone, and 10-15% of its users are daily commuters. The service is able to pick up and drop off those who are less mobile or live in a remote area from their front door. Using the latest technology, Lincolnshire County Council is able to plan journeys and load vehicles efficiently, as well as tracking the vehicles movements around the county.
The Poacher Line is a valuable asset to the local community, providing easier access to the coast and a unique community engagement tool. During the quieter months of the year, the partnership arranges various outings for families, and community events, such as live bands playing on the train.
Sarah McAdam, Chief Executive of the CRC says: Accessibility and transport are two of the most challenging issues facing rural communities. The CRC believes that the provision of efficient and effective integrated transport systems, such as in Lincolnshire, can make a significant difference to those who live and work in rural England. The availability of good transport enhances access to job opportunities, education, health services and boosts the wellbeing of communities. We are pleased to have the opportunity to endorse this example of good practice in the provision of rural transport and would encourage other local authorities to develop their own models.
Cllr William Webb, Lincolnshire County Councils Executive Member for Transport < Highways, said: The County Council is pleased to receive this affirmation of its investment in public transport. We are proud of our achievements and will continue striving to improve transport in Lincolnshire. The comments made by the CRC are welcomed and we agree that we have developed innovative schemes that are examples of best practice.
For further information contact Chris Wynne-Davies.
Notes for editors:
1 The film Transport in Rural Communities Good Practice can be viewed at:
2 We are also issuing a Social Media News Release, which can be viewed at:
3 The report of the Rural Advocates visit to rural Lincolnshire on 24 and 25 February 2009 to learn from transport schemes tackling rural isolation can be found at:
4 The CRC was established in April 2005 and became an independent body on 1 October 2006, following the enactment of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, 2006. The role of the CRC is to provide well-informed, independent advice to Government and ensure that policies reflect the real needs and circumstances of people living and working in rural England. We give particular focus to tackling disadvantage and economic under-performance.
We have three key functions:
* advocate: the voice for rural people, business and communities;
* expert adviser: providing evidence-based, objective advice to Government and others; and
* independent watchdog: monitoring and reporting on the delivery of policies nationally, regionally and locally.
Further information about the CRC and its work can be found at: www.ruralcommunities.gov.uk