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13.01.14

MPs investigate rural transport links

The transport select committee is investigating how rural passenger transport can be improved as it holds its first oral evidence session on the topic today.

The inquiry looks at passenger transport in isolated communities and seeks to determine how demand in these areas is identified, to what extent the needs of different groups of passengers are taken into account, the main challenges and how they can be overcome.

MPs will also consider how services in isolated communities can be made more affordable.

Witnesses to be heard today are: Janice Banks, Chief Executive, Action with Communities in Rural England; Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys; Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport; Bill Freeman, Chief Executive, Community Transport Association; Ewan Jones, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations, Community Transport Association; Martin Higginson, Adviser, Association of Local Bus Company Managers; Claire Walters, Chief Executive, Bus Users UK; Neil Buxton, General Manager, Association of Community Rail Partnerships; and David Mapp, Commercial Director, Association of Train Operating Companies.

Chair of the committee, Louise Ellman MP, said at the launch of the inquiry: “People from different communities across the UK should have access to adequate transport services. We will be looking at how best to meet the needs of passengers in isolated communities, including rural areas, island communities, and suburban or urban areas with poor transport connections. We are particularly interested in the provision of bus and rail services, as well as the role of Community Transport services.”

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