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MiniPlus Article
January 07 2019
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Effective community transport tackles isolation

Effective community transport can tackle loneliness and social isolation, shows an analysis of Scotland’s transport, and should have stable funding to thrive; CTA calls for attention to be given to consultation

Consultation has identified that community transport reduces isolation

The Community Transport Association (CTA) is encouraging the Scottish Government to adopt a single loneliness and isolation data measure that should include transport, so data can be used to predict and respond to transport demand.

It is one of the outcomes of a consultation on the Scottish Government’s Draft Loneliness and Isolation Strategy.

The CTA adds that there is also a recognition of the impact of transport funding cuts on Scotland’s ‘social connectedness’, and an acknowledgement that the Scottish Government has a responsibility to provide stable funding for third-sector organisations to enable them to expand their reach.

In the CTA’s response, it highlighted the contribution of community transport (CT) to tackling loneliness and isolation, providing examples of ways in which its members “go above and beyond” to care for passengers and create safe, sociable environments on the vehicle.

It also spoke about how CT can tie into routes on commercial services by providing the first and last legs of journeys to make the overall journey possible.

The CTA calls for projects to give sufficient attention to transport planning, adding “too often, CT is considered as a last resort option, once commercial and subsidised services have failed.”

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