RESIDENTS in Nottinghamshire are being urged to have their say on how passenger transport services across the county operate in the future.
The County Council is working with partners and other local organisations to ensure that commercial bus and rail services, voluntary and community transport services and health transport all meet local needs – and to identify potential gaps in the system.
It launched a consultation in July and residents now have an extended period until 14th September to respond.
The move follows a successful consultation in the pilot area around Newark, Southwell and Ollerton.
People currently use transport services in Nottinghamshire for a variety of reasons, including:
l travelling to education, employment and training
l getting to health and social care services or appointments
l going shopping and enjoying leisure activities
l using buses to connect to other forms of transport (e.g. park and ride, railways and airports).
All of these services are part of the county’s transport network, but are provided in different ways. The County Council financially supports some local bus services, home to school transport, special education needs transport and adult social care transport
However, it needs to look at changing the way some services operate in order to make sure they continue to meet essential needs and can be affordably maintained for the future.
The County Council is therefore keen to develop a new local transport network which meets local needs. As part of this process the County Council is considering the following:
l expanding the role of voluntary and community transport services to cover areas such as social care, health and education-related journeys
l increasing public bus services and encouraging more people to use them
l making improvements such as better bus stop waiting areas
l promoting accessible vehicles across the new network
l reviewing any bus services that are under-used
l ensuring it gets maximum use out of vehicles
l sharing some vehicles and drivers across transport provider organisations
l enabling children and young people to use public transport for school journeys where possible
l enabling some people who use specialist transport to develop the skills to travel independently on public transport
l ensuring the way that bus services are delivered supports economic development across the county.
“We recognise that one size doesn’t fit all and there will be different solutions to meet local and specialist needs,” says Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s highways and transport committee.
“This is where we need residents’ help. The County Council would like to find out their views on the way we intend to change transport services.
“This is a unique opportunity for residents to help shape how transport services are provided in the future.”
To take part in the consultation people can complete an online questionnaire at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/passengertransport; call the Customer Service Centre on 08449 808080; or visit their local library to complete an online or paper questionnaire.