Transport is always an issue that comes up whenever I ask “What could make your area work better?”
This is not unique to the Borders, it has been a recurring issue in all the areas we have been working. A key aim of Rural Wisdom is to share information and over the last few years we have been finding out what solutions other areas have been coming up with and thought why not bring some of these groups to the Borders to start talking about transport and perhaps even get a few ideas!
PACTO (Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations) kicked the day off. Rachel & Emma gave us a whistle stop tour of all the services they provide including 6-12 month hire of Scooters for people over the age of 16 who live or work in the area and need transport to get to or to keep a job; Bus Buddies a scheme where a volunteer bus buddy is paired with someone who needs additional support to use public or community transport and their new project Take Me Too that matches people who need a lift, or who would like to life share with someone going their way.
More information about PACTO and it’s services can be found here.
Andy Maybury from Teviot Electric Car Club a co-op car club using electric vehicles which will be available to hire by the hour in the Hawick area was up next. Andy gave us lots of information about the project and the why they opted for electric cars. Here is a copy of Andy’s presentation .
Jeff Turner is a Transport Consultant working on a piece of Research for Newcastle University on Rural Transport in Northumberland. Jeff described the research and the finding so far. Here are links to Jeff’s presentation and further information about the research.
After a short break Catriona Haston from SACT (South Ayrshire Community Transport) gave us an insight into how SACT came about, the challenges they have faced, their successes and what their next steps are in South Ayrshire. Further information about SACT can be found here.
Driving Miss Daisy a transportation and companion service was up next. John Overdijking showed us a video and described how people are using the service in the Glasgow area.
Thurston Hodge from Borders Community Transport gave us a great overview of the services that are available throughout the Borders. Here is the link to Thurston’s presentation.
Our final presentation of the morning was from Greig Mackay from Bus Users Scotland. Greig gave us lots of information about the work they are doing with bus companies and to ensure passengers voices are being heard and that the issues they are facing are being addressed. Here is Greig’s presentation.
During lunch and for the remainder of the afternoon the time was given over to people to network and go and find out more from the speakers. The feedback was really positive with lots of people going home with lots of ideas. There is even talk of a trip to Ayrshire to visit SACT!
The next day we were with the PACTO team and Jeff Turner at a similar event in Aberfeldy. The people we are working alongside as part of Rural Wisdom in Highland Perthshire and North Angus are facing similar issues around transport. The Upper Tayside Transport Group is starting a new project that uses a Timebanking approach to create more options for people in their area. We’ll be bringing together the ideas from different places to help us all come up with solutions on transport for people living in rural communities
If you would like any further information about any of the projects included in our Let’s Talk Transport event or if you would like us to come to your area to talk about how we can make your community work better as we get older please do not hesitate to contact Christine at Christine@otbds.org
More information about Rural Wisdom can be found at http://ruralwisdom.org/