South Somerset Rural Transport
For those of you who read the title and assumed this must be an oxymoron, then this is for you. South Somerset District Council (SSDC) have decided to consult locally on public transport. Unfortunately this has been rather rushed. To get involved you’ll need to be ready to start in less than a week on the 13th July.
It is exasperating that on the few occasions our local authorities actually show an interest in our views,they make it difficult for us to air them. All credit that at least SSDC are trying to get those views.
SSDC tell us that “We have been working with partners, commercial providers of new technology and the Government’s innovation arm the Connected Places Catapult, to look at creating alternatives to heavily-subsidised fixed-timetable and fixed-journey services which currently exist.”
Then the good news “An important part of this work is to fully understand of needs of residents, and we are delighted to announce that the Connected Places Catapult has chosen South Somerset as the subject of its research looking at a largely rural area.”
So SSDC are trying to put together a focus group of 15 people who can help design and launch the study. To take part “you would have to be available next week to take part in an online session on the 13 July, and participate in two tasks based around how rural transport could be improved in South Somerset. We are looking for a representative group of residents across the district’s rural areas, including students going to college, people travelling to work, and older residents needing to travel for healthcare. The study will also include shopping and meeting with family and friends. If you would like the opportunity to shape the way that transport works in South Somerset, please apply through completing this short online questionnaire (or by visiting https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/6TE4XP/).”
This is not entirely of SSDC’s own making. Apparently the consultants who run these groups hadn’t considered that people going to work or college might find it difficult to rearrange their schedules at less than a week’s notice.