Transport Self-help kit: Providing transport services to your community

Consulting your community on transport needs

Before designing and setting up any new transport schemes to address perceived gaps, it is important to establish if there is a need for additional transport services.  Evidence of need can only be established by consulting your community.

Case Study: Establishing transport needs in Pamber Heath, Silchester and Mortimer West End

Following a reduction in the number of timetabled bus services serving the Parishes of Pamber Heath, Silchester and Mortimer West End, the three parishes agreed to work together to establish the transport needs of their communities and possible solutions.

Before any new transport services were considered, the Parish Councils designed a questionnaire to identify the public transport demand within the communities. They specifically wanted to identify the:

  • Frequency of public transport that was needed

  • Purpose for which people wished to travel

  • The age group and mobility needs of individuals wanting to travel

A questionnaire was designed and sent to each household in the three parishes (See documents and weblinks below).

The questionnaire responses identified:

  • a lack of awareness of existing services, requiring more communication

  • a need to enhance the taxishare service

  • a need for lockable bike racks in Tadley (near Sainsbury’s) to enable younger people to safely leave their bikes whilst they catch the bus to Basingstoke for work or college.

Representatives are meeting with Tadley Town Council to share their findings and find a way of jointly funding a solution.  They also plan to re-survey to gauge the potential demand for the proposed transport solutions and to explain the transport services available.

Transport services are primarily used by individuals who do not own or have access to their own private transport; older people, youth, people with disabilities, those financially less well off, and one car families who are often left without private transport during the day.

Questions which are particularly relevant to this group include:

  • What current transport services do you use?  How often do you use them and for what purpose?

  • What services and destinations do you have difficulty accessing or would like to access that you currently cannot?  Includes; what purpose, timing requirements of journeys (day of the week, time of day), frequency of journey (daily, weekly, monthly etc) and if a journey is seasonal (Christmas shopping, seaside trips), how they currently travel to the destination.

  • How much would you be prepared to pay?  If you were not able to use your concessionary pass (if applicable) would this deter you from travelling?

  • Do you have any special requirements?  Do you have difficulty reaching a bus stop?  Are you are a wheelchair user?  Are you travelling with children and associated equipment?  Do you have difficulty carrying shopping home?

Those who have their own private transport can be included in a meaningful way by investigating areas such as if they would consider:

  • Sharing transport with others

  • Providing transport to others

  • Giving up their vehicle if there was a viable alternative

For further information read the 'questionnaire design' and 'consultation best practice' sections of this website. Remember it is important to feed back the results of any consultation.  This will help people understand the needs of the whole community and the appropriateness of future decisions around service provision.

Documents and web links

Essential Reading: