Across England, large numbers of people live in transport deserts. The ongoing decline in bus services is hitting such areas particularly hard whilst the thrust of devolution and legislation such as the Bus Services Act is primarily targeted at larger urban communities.
Little attention has been paid to the plight of smaller market towns and large villages with few initiatives undertaken to improve their transport provision. We know also that poor public transport accessibility is interwoven into the broader concerns about the sustainability of rural communities. Both in the environmental sense and economically. The decline of key local services such as bank branches, coupled with cuts to rural bus services can have a devastating impact on the viability of rural communities as places to live, work and do business. The satellite villages around small to medium sized towns need to benefit well beyond the confines of the immediate town.
This raises the question about development in the villages and the conversion of former working farm buildings to residential, office or retail use.
CPRE commissioned Campaign for Better Transport to undertake research on transport deserts and the South West region, which includes Wiltshire, is one of the pilot areas. Their report is here.
READ the article on Transport for New Homes within the Campaigns section.