Potential of community transport highlighted in report

The ECT Charity and Deloitte have launched a set of research which has discovered that investment in community transport schemes would not only save £1.1 billion a year, but also ease the pressure on public services and tackle loneliness among older people.

The report, ‘Why Community Transport Matters’, is part of a wider awareness campaign by ECT Charity to highlight that community transport can improve health and well-being.

Acknowledging that ‘as the government works to reduce the national deficit, budgets for public services will continue to be cut’, ECT Charity chief executive Anna Whitty stated that it is time to look at community transport with a fresh pair of eyes.

She said: “We have to demonstrate the value of the benefit that we provide, especially when we are trying to convince councils, commissioners and government policy makers that community transport is a worthwhile investment.”

Bill Freeman, chief executive of the Community Transport Association, added: “Community transport, in all its forms, has the potential to offer a more reliable and resilient way of addressing a growing number of transport needs and contributing to areas of public policy where access and inclusion are significant challenges.

“It is vital that the CT sector can demonstrate the quality of its services, but also that they add value, so there is something that is a broader benefit beyond the simple fulfilment of the contract.”