Following a Scottish Rural Transport Conference held in Inverness in September 2018, ITS (UK) member the Transport Systems Catapult will be working in partnership with local business JLM and Mobility Lab UK, on a new accessible transport service for the community of Inverurie.
Transport Services in rural areas require a different approach to that seen in big towns and cities, one that is based on the needs of communities who depend on transport services for everyday life.
Accessible and affordable transport is a lifeline for many rural residents. It connects people to opportunities for socialising, working, learning and healthcare.
The research in Inverurie will seek to understand the needs of the community in a rural Scottish location, including residents and local businesses and see how current transport services are meeting those needs. The research findings will be used to develop and design new services that can be trialled in rural areas.
Jenny Milne, from JLM said, “This project provides a great opportunity to understand the challenges travelling to, in and around Inverurie. By working with the community, it will help to understand what transport services are needed, and what steps can then be taken to improve existing routes around the town.
The project also hopes to engage the villages around Inverurie. By using focus groups and asking the local community about their ideas, it will help to shape rural transport to the benefit of those living in the area.”
The project also has support from Colin Clark, Scottish Conservative MP for Gordon, “I would urge local residents and businesses in the Inverurie area to take part in this project and make their views known. Many people depend upon public transport in rural areas – to get to work, to socialise or to keep appointments at local GP and dental surgeries.
“We are fortunate in Inverurie to have a train station connecting the town with Aberdeen and Inverness and there has recently been major investment in the line. However, in more remote parts of Aberdeenshire, public transport is less reliable and frequent. The results of this research will help inform future policy – and hopefully lead to improvements”
TSC Chief Engagement Officer Helen Wylde added, “The Transport Systems Catapult is delighted to be working on this exciting project to connect rural travellers with the local area. As the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, our goal is to transform the future of the transport industry.
“It has been a fantastic opportunity to support a meaningful project which could really make a difference to all rural travellers across the UK”.