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Country News - 2003

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Rural transport "not working"

Monday 08 September 2003

A DAMNING report on the "largely poor and disjointed" public transport provision in Britain's rural areas has been published after a joint research programme conducted by the Countryside Agency, Transport 2000 and the newly named Citizens' Advice.

Seven years after the then new Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott promised a "joined up" transport policy, our rural areas are still afflicted with a system that is still disjointed "with no one in overall control of how different transport threads come together in a particular area."

These findings will come as no surprise to Yorkshire Dales residents but we can cross our fingers and hope that government departments will take note of some of the report's key recommendations. These include:

  • Local authorities should be given the power to coordinate bus and train links
  • Competition rule reform to allow the issue of tickets valid for buses and trains
  • Taxi-licensing rules reform to allow cab sharing
  • Funding should be increased to improve services and lower fares
  • And all public bodies should "rural proof" operations to ensure equal treatment for country folk.

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