Project: Co-ordinating Individual Action Programme in Rural Transport Management

Reference: STP 14/6/41

Last update: 11/06/2009 10:04:42

Objectives

To link the two traditional approaches to encouraging efficient travel decisions and improving accessibility in rural areas: These are seen as vehicle management systems, and travel awareness/information schemes, respectively.

To identify the information and management mechanisms through which stake holders, (either individuals or organisations) in the use of co-ordinating transport for the improvement of accessibility in rural areas, can pool private and public resources.

To achieve, by this approach, a more integrated approach to the provision of transport for the improvement of rural accessibility.

To maintain independence and flexibility of travel and transport provision, thus promoting both enhanced travel choice and better integration.

Description

The project will identify the information and management mechanisms through which users (both individuals and organisations) of transport in rural areas can pool private and public resource to improve accessibility. The travel demand and access needs of people and organisation will be modelled and the factors affecting travel behavior will be analysed. The principal output will be recommendations for management requirements to enable co-ordinated action ensuring that each stakeholders has appropriate information to encourage participation in the use of rural transport service.

Contractor(s)

Derek Halden
DHC LTD, 10 St. Magdalenes,, LINLITHGOW, WEST LOTHIAN, EH49 6AQ
0131 524 9610

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £15,600.00

Actual start date: 31 December 2003

Actual completion date: 03 May 2004

Publication(s)

CO-OPERATE: Co-ordinating Individual Action Programmes in Rural Transport Management
Author: Derek Halden
Publication date: 03/05/2004
Source: dhc Consultancy, 12 Melville Terrace, Stirling, FK8 2NE
More information: http://www.dhc1.co.uk

Summary of results

  1. The challenge of offering improved transport choice and quality at affordable cost is growing rapidly in rural areas. The current trends in the bus market emphasise that radically new approaches are needed to ensure that public subsidies are targeted at future needs.

    The CO-OPERATE research project reviews lessons from transport marketing, stakeholder engagement in transport and rural transport management to identify how to create a stronger dialogue and develop routes for co-operation between users and providers on rural accessibility and transport provision. Key objectives for the research are as follows:
    1. To link traditional approaches for improving accessibility in rural areas and encouraging efficient travel decisions covering alternative vehicle management systems, and travel awareness/information schemes.
    2. To identify the information and management mechanisms through which stakeholders (either individuals or organisations), can pool private and public resources in the use of co-ordinated transport for the improvement of accessibility in rural areas.
    3. To achieve, by this approach, a more integrated approach to the provision of transport for the improvement of rural accessibility.
    4. To maintain independence and flexibility of travel and transport provision, thus promoting both enhanced travel choice and better integration.
    Overall the research identifies approaches to share knowledge towards co-operative delivery.

    The research reviews and combines best practice on rural community development, transport management and travel awareness, to highlight potential mechanisms for change. User perceptions were researched using Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) techniques in a rural 'test' area.

    A range of routes were identified though which dialogue and co-operation can be increased both amongst transport providers and between providers and users to enhance accessibility and transport provision. These routes to developing joint working opportunities and highlighting potential contributions of stakeholders in rural transport describe an innovative approach to addressing the identified shortcomings of existing approaches. Improved communication between users and providers is central to success and this can be facilitated by:
    Targeted marketing based on better evidence of user needs. Key to the development of rural travel awareness mechanisms is gaining an informed local understanding of travel perceptions (through e.g. PCT mechanisms).
    Development of local hubs and multi-function centres to promote networking and facilitate joint delivery is a key part of the strategy. Anchors are needed within the community from which information, service delivery and other initiatives (such as IT based and DRT solutions) can grow. They can provide a focal point through which local champions can work to develop initiatives and can be supported by the public sector and commercial organisations to improve dialogue and trust between transport users and providers.

    Stimulation of community based initiatives. With support from public agencies communities can do much more to develop schemes to support the least mobile members of the community. Community transport has a strong track record in tackling gaps, but provision is patchy and links with individualised marketing techniques are weak. Public sector support of community based services through both stimulating community capacity, and marketing of community services is a route to building more public confidence and capacity in CT.
    Integration of public services. There is already evidence in a small number of areas of public service providers beginning to work together through co-ordinated resource management (SEU, 2003). Public services can also be a key bridge with which to build links to the community based sector, through seeking out routes to combined delivery of specialist and public transport.

    The research project has developed a strong foundation for the future development of rural transport services through the use of co-operative and joint working opportunities in rural transport. It has been demonstrated that rural accessibility and public transport development can be supported through a range of different methods and individualised action planning techniques have been identified.

    The research has worked closely with various stakeholders during the work including two key project seminars (in April 2003 and January 2004) and involved representatives from Local Authorities, commercial operators, the Countryside Agency and academic researchers. Each of these stakeholders is implementing the techniques in different ways including several projects involving DHC. Academic papers will be published and presented at conferences including a forthcoming conference in Aberdeen in December 2004.