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New Ideas in Rural Development No.2: Action on Scottish Rural Transport: Helping Local Communities Tackle their Transport Problems - Research Findings

DescriptionA summary of a guide in the SNRP 'New Ideas in Rural Development' series describing the experience of one community group in using the Scottish Rural Transport Action Guide.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 27, 1999
Rural Affairs and Natural Heritage Research Programme Research Findings No. 8 (1996)
New Ideas in Rural Development: No.2
Action on Scottish Rural Transport: Helping Local Communities Tackle Their Transport Problems
Stephanie Herbert, The Scottish Office Central Research Unit
Publisher The Scottish Office
This report describes the experience of one community group in the Douglas Valley who used the Scottish Rural Transport Action Guide to address local transport. The report shows that people living in Rural Scotland are very capable of bringing about positive change in their area. By sharing the experience of Douglas widely, it is hoped that other communities will be encouraged to tackle their transport.
The Issues
This concise report describes the research and policy background surrounding transport provision in rural areas. Rural Scotland is characterised by diversity and remoteness and local people are often best placed to develop appropriate solutions. Although the particular transport needs and solutions of each community will differ, they often face similar challenges and can benefit from sharing their experiences. The community in Douglas faced difficulties related to distance, cost, and infrequency of transport service - common problems in rural Scotland. Securing adequate transport services in rural areas is crucial and it is often necessary to find innovative solutions to service provision.
Tackling Transport
This paper describes policies to improve transport provision that are set out in such documents as "The Scottish Rural White Paper: People Prosperity and Partnership". Key themes of rural development commonly involve community participation, local action, and partnership building. The Douglas group's effort, in tackling transport, embodied these important principles.
The Douglas Valley Experience
The Scottish Rural Transport Action Guide, the companion report to this document, is designed to help people who live in rural Scotland by providing them with the tools they need to improve local transport in their area. This report, second in the New Ideas in Rural Development Series, describes how the Scottish Rural Transport Action Guide empowered one community in the Douglas Valley with the information they needed to understand their transport problems and to search for appropriate solutions.
The Douglas valley is rich in land, history, and community. Nestled in the heart of South Lanarkshire, the area holds both fertile agricultural land indicative of the central Lowland regions as well as the majestic hill
ranges of the Southern Uplands. Although the natural attributes of the Douglas Valley are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, the community needs to secure adequate transport for their area if it is to thrive.
The local people in Douglas were keen to use the Scottish Rural Transport Action Guide to address their transport needs. Their first step was to form a Transport Working Party. Forming this group to address transport issues brought people in the Valley together to the meeting table where real work, satisfaction, and solutions are found. "Helping Local Communities Tackle Their Transport" describes how the Douglas Valley Working Party are actively involved in solving their transport problems.
Local action is bringing about change in the Douglas Valley because the group addressed their problems by forming a working group, using research and advice to identify their transport problems, and searching for solutions. The Working Party used the Action Guide as a tool, and in the process not only became empowered but helped the Scottish Office to develop a Transport Action Guide which is better equipped to empower other rural communities across Scotland. This publication explores the lessons learned thorough the Douglas Valley experience and the words of wisdom offered by the group to other communities beginning to tackle their transport.
" Action on Scottish Rural Transport: Helping Local Communities Tackle Their Transport Problems ", the research report summarised in this Research Findings, may be purchased (price £2.50 per copy).
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This Research Findings may be photocopied, or further copies may be obtained from:
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